India-Pakistan clash puts soaps on backburner

MUMBAI: Broadcasters MAX, Sony and Doordarshan would all be on cloud nine if every cricket match could be one between India and Pakistan. 

According to TAM figures for the week ended 1 March 2003, MAX has bagged 29 of the top 50 programmes. By doing so, it has dethroned Star Plus, which has had a stranglehold on the top 50 for quite a while now.    

The following is the progression of TVRs for soaps prior to the World Cup until they were dethroned by the cricket matches - from the beginning of the year right up to the India-Pakistan match. The sample programmes chosen are the top 30-minute and 60-minute serials in various time prime time slots.

Jan first week
Feb pre- World Cup
Feb (first week)
Feb (second week)
23 Feb to 1 March
Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (10:30 - 11 pm)
9.94 (7 Jan) Ranked 1 for the week
10.91 (5 Feb) Ranked 1 for the week
10.53 ( 13 Feb) Ranked 1 for the week
10.6 (17 Feb) Ranked 2 for the week
10.2 (25 Feb) Ranked 11 for the week
Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki(10 - 10:30 pm)
9.68 (6 Jan) Ranked 2 for the week
10.33 (5 Feb) Ranked 2 for the week
10.25 (12 Feb) Ranked 2 for the week
10.7 (17 Feb) Ranked 1 for the week
10.5 (25 Feb) Ranked 10 for the week)
Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chand (9 - 10 pm)
8.9 (6 Jan) Ranked 9 for the week
8.41 (3 Feb) Ranked 8 for the week
8.5 (10 Feb) Ranked 12 for the week
9.24 (17 Feb) Ranked 7 for the week
8.4 (24 feb) Ranked 22 for the week
Kasautii Zindagi Ke(8:30 - 9 pm)
9.91 (7 Jan) Ranked 11 for the week
8.37 (5 Feb) Ranked 9 for the week
7.39 (13 Feb) Ranked 13 for the week
8.37 (20 Feb) Ranked 12 for the week
9.2 (27 Feb) Ranked 17 for the week

The following table shows how cricket related programming started stealing the show! With the Indian team delivering when it mattered the most, the viewership on MAX soared to a new high. Ratings of the three world cup matches featuring India for six metros put together are: India vs Pakistan - 22.4, India vs England 15.9 and India vs Namibia - 11.1.

The post India-Pakistan match Extraaa Innings managed a TVR of 18.7 (ranked second in the C&S Top 50 list) whereas Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki (ranked 10th in C&S) managed 10.5 and Kyuunki Saas... (ranked 11th in C&S) got a rating of 10.2 the same day.

Feb pre- World Cup
Feb (first week)
Feb (second week)
23 Feb to 1 March

India vs Australia (1:28 - 4:40 pm) on 15 Feb

10.14 (15 Feb) Ranked 3 for the week

India vs Zimbabwe (5:15 - 8:36 pm) on 19 Feb

10:03 19 Feb)Ranked 4 for the week
India vs Pakistan (5:43 - 9:46 pm) on 1 Mar
21.8 (1 Mar) Ranked 1 for the week
Extraaa Innings
4.8 (15 Feb) Ranked 30 for the week
3.95 (19 Feb) Ranked 37 for the week
18.7 (1 Mar) Ranked 2 for the week)

Not surprisingly, MAX surpassed all the channels (for week 9) to take the number one position with a channel share of 23.2 per cent among all individuals in C & S homes across India surveyed by TAM. In fact, 53.7 million individuals out of the potential 72.5 million individuals in C&S homes sampled MAX in these seven days.

Sony executive VP and MAX business head Rajat Jain said: "The ratings are simply unprecedented. All our effort of expanding the cricket viewership has finally started showing results. With females delivering an average of 10 TVRs for India matches and five TVRs for all matches put together on MAX."

Optimum Media executive vice president Amit Ray had predicted this long back: "Advertisers are putting huge sums of money on cricket despite the fact that India (and some select non-India) matches that can probably get huge viewership are few and far between. The popular hypothesis, supported by research is that decision makers like/enjoy cricket and hence they believe that everyone loves cricket too. However, advertisers must remember that every match is not a India-Pakistan match," he had said during an interview in January 2003.

Jain adds:"All markets have delivered a very high rating with India vs Pakistan match delivering an average rating of 30.3 in Kolkota and 24.5 in Mumbai. Also by now, as per our estimates, MAX would have reached 84 per cent of individuals in C&S homes across India."

Looks like the soaps will have to wait for a couple of weeks more to get back their share of audience attention.



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