MUMBAI: Television channels may continue to bet big on newer
and more interesting formats but how well (or otherwise) these
programmes fare, at least in the long run, is something that
ultimately depends on the audience.
A case in point is the big fight between Star Plus' Mahabharat
and Colors' Bigg Boss Season Seven. Battle lines were drawn
between the rival channels as they had geared up for the launch
of two of their biggest properties.
Promotions (on-air, print OOH and on-ground) went on for
months. Colors left no stone unturned, with the heaven Vs
hell theme and all the suspense built around who would be
the inmates of the Bigg Boss house this year. Star Plus too
pulled out all stops, promising viewers the mythological battle
between good and evil in a contemporary avatar.
While both the channels were hoping to up their ante with these
big-ticket shows, the results are now out for everyone to
As per the TAM ratings, Mahabharat got off to an epic start
with 8445 TVTs whereas Bigg Boss lagged behind a bit with
7711 TVTs on the day of its premiere.
Subsequently, Mahabharat, aired from Monday to Friday, garnering
6356 TVTs and the daily Bigg Boss getting 5080 TVTs.
So while media planners agree that both shows have done exceptionally
well, going by its opening ratings, there's really no consensus
as to its performance going forward.
The big question facing the channels is whether its shows
will be able to sustain ratings and do justice to the kind
of moolah that has been spent on them. Opines Helios Media
managing director Divya Radhakrishnan: "Mahabharat is
a very strong story and since, we know there are a finite
number of episodes, the show won't be dragged. Hence, I believe
that it will continue to do well in the coming weeks as well.
But for Bigg Boss to sustain ratings, it will depend a lot
on the controversies it gets into."
By contrast, a Delhi-based media planner feels that while
Mahabharat started with a boom, it won't be able to match
up with the gossip and entertainment provided by Bigg Boss.
He points out: "A lot of people want to see what is so
different in the current shows but however sometimes get disappointed
with the execution. I can only hope that the disappointment
doesn't turn into a blind eye for both the shows."
Another media planner adds that garnering great TVTs in the
opening episodes is nothing new. "Most shows, especially
reality shows, are able to generate enough enthusiasm among
viewers. The real test is about holding their attention."
All we can say is while we can't predict the future, for
now, both shows have gotten off to a great start...