Television

'KBC' opener boosts Star Plus' channel share in 9-10 pm band

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MUMBAI: The opening week numbers of KBC, Star Plus' big ticket show for the season, seem to have done the trick at least on one front - jack up its channel share for the crucial 9-10 pm band significantly against rival Zee TV.

The much awaited ratings for KBC, revealed by Tam today, show Star Plus' channel share increasing to 55.9 per cent from the previous week's 37.7 per cent in Hindi speaking markets ( 9-10 pm; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).

As opposed to the aMap's overnight ratings system that delivered an opening TVR of 5.3, Tam records the ratings for the premiere on 22 January as 12.3 for the Hindi markets.

Commenting on the opening numbers of KBC, Star Entertainment India CEO Sameer Nair said, "At the outset, we had set three objectives for ourselves for KBC with SRK: strategic to ensure that Star Plus continues to dominate viewers hearts and minds; tactical to gain clear leadership in the 9-10 pm weekday primetime band and commercial, to allow us to ensure that the cricket World Cup does not dent our revenues. We have conclusively met all our objectives."

Expectedly, in the three metros (Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata) Star Plus has done even better, with a market share of 62.7 per cent, pushing down rival Zee TV from 38.2 per cent in the previous week to 15.3 per cent.

Given the pre-launch hype that the network put in place for the Shah Rukh Khan fronted reality game show, it's no wonder that it opened well, but the big question lies in the 'sustainability factor' of the show in the coming weeks.

Of course SRK does not stand a chance against cricket, as the show was hit hard by the India Vs West Indies ODI match on 24 January, dragging the ratings down to 7.36 TVRs (HSM). Not surprisingly, the three metros also saw a steep decline as a result of cricket, clocking a TVR of 6.03. However, the average ratings for it's first week seem to be stabilizing at about 10 so if KBC can sustain these numbers, the Star team should sail steady.

As for the big question on how SRK compares with Amitabh Bachchan, in the the opening ratings it is a no contest, since 19.75 was what the second season of KBC hosted by the Big B opened at.

An interesting point of note however, is that the first episode of KBC reached 23.3 million, which is 5 million more than the launch episode of KBC 2 did (factoring in the increased C&S population between then and now). Moreover, KBC reached 39 million individuals in the first week of its launch, which Star claims is the highest ever reach of a show in it's first week in the history of satellite TV.

All in all, the network states that KBC has caused a 25 per cent growth in Hindi general entertainment viewing, with Star gaining viewers from movie channels, regional and hindi news channels.

But at the end of the day, this tale is really all about the ratings commitments that Star has given to its advertisers, so it ultimately will come back to whether the numbers will hold up. Can KBC deliver on a consistent basis over its full 13-week run will be what advertisers will be interested in, not how it opened.

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