Sony expects 'Ayushmaan' special episode to spike reach

MUMBAI: It's been exactly seven weeks on air for Sony's Ayushmaan . While the odds were stacked against it right from the start (pitched alongside Star Plus' big gun Kasautii Zindagi Kay), Sony claims that the show has shaped up quite well.

In an endeavour to increase sampling for the show, 20 September (Monday) will witness an hour long special episode of Ayushmaan.

Speaking to, Sony's executive vice president programming and response Tarun Katial says, "We are very pleased with Ayushmaan's performance, and its delivery has been much beyond our expectations. It is now critical that the show arrives at a mass reach like Yeh Meri Life Hain which currently commands a 40 per cent stickiness in the HSM 1 MN + and our one hour special is an attempt to increase sampling as well as spike the show's reach numbers."

The one hour specials have been a common feature and strategy on Sony, and the channel claims that this has worked wonders for them in terms of increase in stickiness in shows like Jassi...., Yeh Meri Life Hain and Kkusum. Although Monday will see its first hourly special for Ayushmaan, many more one-hour specials are in the offing for this particular show. Currently the show commands an average of 1.8 - 2 in all Hindi speaking markets 1 million+ according to TAM Data. The show hit its peak in the HSM 1 mn +( CS 4+) market at 2.12 TVR, its low at 1.13 TVR. But on an average had managed to garner rating above the 1.5 TVR mark.

The one-hour special will also see the introduction of new character who is the male protaganist 's(Ayushmaan) autistic brother (Bodi). This will bring in the emotional quotient where the interaction between a prodigy and an autistic individual is seen.

Talking about the show's performance, Mindshare's investment director Amol Dighe says, "Well, the show is definitely not picking up but has maintained sustained ratings. Also, considering the 8:30 pm - 9 pm slot earlier garnered ratings of 0.5 TVR (for Sony), an average of 1.8 - 2 is a considerable increase."

Moving on to whether the show promises a pick up in the near future Dighe adds, "It might spike up slightly and settle between a 2.5 - 3 TVR. Also, one has to see if KZK reaches a fatigue level and hence people make that switch."

TME media director Madan Mohapatra offered, "For Sony as a platform, Ayushmaan has definitely done a lot of good when it is looked at holistically. Although, as a standalone, the point the channel was aiming at, which was to draw viewers from KZK , has not taken place. What it has managed to do is draw viewers across other channels as well as bring in new viewers. The story line though does suggest that the show has a long life stamp vis-a-vis some other shows across other channels."

According to Mohapatra, apart from promotional and marketing efforts that Sony needs to consistently undertake for this property, the final onus will lie with the progression of the story line and packaging for it to retain eyeballs.

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