India's top Hindi entertainment show is at 7 pm

MUMBAI: India‘s top Hindi entertainment show is coming at the 7 pm slot.

In the last two months, Star Plus’ 7 pm show Saathiya has shown tremendous climb in its ratings with the figure rising to an average of 6 TVR for the week ended 4 December. Saathiya saw a peak TVR of 6.4 during the week, as per Tam data (C&S – 4+, HSM). A special episode on Sunday, pitted against television premiere of Dabangg on Colors, got it a whopping 5.1 TVR.
Saathiya has not only emerged as the slot leader but also the top show among all the general entertainment channels (GECs).

Says Star India EVP – marketing and communications Anupam Vasudev, “Saathiya is a prime example of how strong content can attract audience even at what others call ‘early primetime’. Earlier, this time band was predominantly regional viewership heavy. So we knew viewers are watching television at that time. Why not put great content there?”
Not very long ago, the Hindi GECs were earmarking 8-11 pm as their primetime viewing hours and anything before that was being left by large for regional audiences.

However, as competition in the genre increased manifold with advent of new channels and the fight for the top league became a week-on-week scenario, GECs started experimenting with content scheduling.

Last year the industry saw a show, Chhoti Bahu, waking up the 7.30 pm band with a peak TVR of 5. But that was not the end of the story. It went ahead with the 7 pm slot with Saathiya.

"Not many channels have put original content in the slot. So it has not been exploited," says Vasudev.
As of now, Colors airs Bhagyavidhaata at 7 pm which has managed an average TVR of 1.6 (week ended 4 December) while Zee TV’s Dil Se Diya Vachan is hovering with a 1 TVR.

So can a GEC command premium advertising rates at 7 pm which advertisers do not consider as the “purple time band”?

Says Vasudev, “If we sustain the reach and ratings, we can command a premium. Saathiya’s current week’s reach was above 12 per cent. Though the quality of audience is not as at 9 pm, sustained ratings can help us get good returns.”

Star Plus claims that the show is also growing slot leadership margin in Delhi, Mumbai, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, PHCHP (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh) and other Hindi speaking markets (HSM). The show has also enjoyed 18.8 minute time spent during the week.

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