Television

Most preferred Hindi GEC genres in weeks 1 to 10 of 2017

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BENGALURU: What are the most preferred programme genres that audiences like in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) – more specifically the programmes aired by Hindi general entertainment channels  (Hindi GEC) in India? This report tries to answer these questions from a limited standpoint. First, to the basis of this report.

To simplify the report, the author has categorised Hindi GEC programmes broadly into the two groups – Drama and others, which have been further grouped intotengenres as below. These are the genres that have been present in the top 5 programmes lists during the first ten weeksof this year:

Drama: (1) Supernatural  (Naagin Season 2 and Naagin) (2) Family Drama (KumkumBhagya, Shakti - AstitvaKeEhsaas Ki, YehRishta Kya Kehlata Hai, SaathNibhaanaSaathiya, AfsarBitiya, Udaan) (3) Super Hero (Baalveer) (4) Stand-up Comedy(The Kapil Sharma Show) (5) Sitcom  (Taarak Mehta KaOoltahChashmah) (6) Historical (Shani, Jodha Akbar).

Others: (7) Awards (8) Reality (Bigg Boss)(9) Cricketand (10) Competition(Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs)

Awards, Reality, Cricket, Competition are not a part of drama or soaps. The author has included Stand-up Comedy or Talk Shows like The Kapil Sharma show as drama.Shani has been mentioned as mythology Historical, while Jodha Akbar as period Historical in portions of this paper.

This paper is based on statistical analysis of BARC data from the following markets: HSM (U+R), HSM (Rural), HSM (Urban): NCCS All: Prime Time (1800 - 2330 hrs): 2+ Individuals for weeks 1 to 10 of 2016 (Saturday, 30 December 2017 to Friday, 10 March 2017, HSM means Hindi Speaking Market). BARC releases television matrices each week.

This paper must be read with a caveat: It deals only with the players present in BARC’s top 5 lists programmes per week for Hindi GEC. The sums/percentages of other genres/players’/channels of other players as well other channels of players in this paper ratings or Impressions (000s) Sums other than those indicated in BARC’s top 5 lists of programmes have not been considered/mentioned in this paper during the period under consideration and those numbers could be more/higher. Further, Combined Total or Weekly Impressions (CWI) mentioned in this paper means the sum of all the Impressions (000s) Sums for all the weeks under consideration of a network and/or channel and/or programme/s.

What are the genre preferences of the three markets?

Audiences across all the three markets – Hindi GEC (U+R), Hindi GEC (R) and Hindi GEC (U) preferred Supernatural and Family dramas. All seemed to have an affinity for Historical dramas – the rural audiences preferred period history in the form of Jodha Akbar, while the overall Hindi GEC (U+R) and the Hindi GEC (U) audiences preferred mythology History in the form of the Indian deity Shani. Hindi GEC (U+R) and Hindi GEC (R) markets preferred the cricket genre – this was live cricket. Rural markets also showed a preference for Superhero shows, but they did not prefer Stand-up comedy as much as the other genres.

Hindi Urban audiences did not like cricket or competition or superhero shows as much as they did shows from genres such as Family drama, Supernatural, Stand-up Comedy, mythology Historical, Awards, Sitcom’s or reality.

Rerun of programmes such as Naagin season 1 and Jodha Akbar (both are Balaji Telefilms Limited products) on sister FTA channels of the original broadcasters such as Rishtey, Zee Anmol, Star Utsav still attract a lot of eyeballs.

Conspicuous is the absence of any programme from the Crime genre in top Hindi GEC programmes list during the first 10 weeks of 2017. Also, it was only the grand finale of Bigg Boss during the infancy stage of 2017 that brought the Reality genre just once into the top 5 list Hindi GEC (U) space with a rank of 2 in week 5 and Impressions of 6,182 (000s) Sumsduring the first 10 weeks of 2017.

Though a few Competition genre shows are currently being aired, they have not made it to the top 5 lists during the first 10 weeks of 2017, except for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs that ranked 3 in week 9 of 2017 with 10,776 (000s) Sums Impressions, which by itself is a fairly high viewership for a single episode of a show.

Of note also is the fact that there were other mythology Historical and Supernatural programmes that were aired in 2017, and still continue on air, but they could not get the traction that shows such as Shani or Naagin have got/were able to get and did not make it to the top 5 programmes list during the first 10 weeks 0f 2017. Cricket programmes that made it to the top five list during the period under consideration were live cricket matches one day internationals and T20 international against England Check out below formore details about audience preferences of Hindi GEC (U+R); Hindi GEC (R) and; Hindi GEC (U) markets.

Hindi GEC (Urban+Rural or U+R) genre preferences

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Supernatural – (NaaginSeason 2 and Naagin on Network 18’s Colors and Rishtey) was the most watched genre during the first ten weeks of 2017 in terms of CWI of 2,01,827(000s) Sumsand a frequency of 18 times that the genre appeared in the top five programmes in the Hindi GEC (U+R) market listsduring the first 10 weeks of 2017.

Family drama shows however had a higher frequency in the top 5 lists during the same period – 19. In a cricket crazy country like India, one day internationals and T-20 internationals matches had a frequency of 5 and a staggering CWI of 69,127, staggering because if one were to extrapolate average the per match impressions – be they one day international or T-20, at least 20percent more people watched each match than they watched a drama in the Hindi GEC (U+R) market.

Stand-up comedy through Kapil Sharma’s The Kapil Sharma Show on Sony Entertainment Television was the fourth most watched genre in this market. From the drama genre, Swastik Production’s mythology Historical Shani was present in the top 5 most watched programmes list during week 8 with a rank of 5 and Impressions of 9,055 (000s) Sums, while one of the longest running sitcoms - Neela Tele Films Private Limited’s Taarak Mehta KaOoltahChashmah on SAB TV was ranked 4 in week 10 of 2017 with Impressions of 9,995 (000s) Sums.

The competition genre found a place in the top 5 programmes list in the Hindi GEC (U+R) category through Amul Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs with a rank of 3 in week 9 on Zee TV – Hindi GEC (U+R). Also, among the others category, The Star Screen Awards was ranked 4 in week 1 of 2017 with Impressions of 9,683 (000s) Sums.

Hindi GEC Rural (R) genre preferences

Hindi GEC rural audiences have preferred five genres most during the first ten weeks of 2017. Besides the 5 genres, the Sitcom genre found a place in the top 5 programmes list in the Hindi GEC Rural space. Except for cricket, the Hindi GEC rural market seemed to have preferred soaps most - be they from the Supernatural, Family, Historical or Sitcom drama genres during the period.

From BARC ratings, it is obvious that the Supernatural genre is the most watched across the Hindi GEC market, because it is the most watched genre in Hindi GEC Rural market. Both the seasons of the Ektaa Kapoor runBalaji Telefilms drama (Naagin Season 2 and Naagin)had CWI of 1,00,464 (000s) Sums during the weeks under consideration.

The Family drama genre led by Rashmi Sharma Telefilms Limited SaathNibhaanaSaathiya and another Balaji Telefilm soap – KumkumBhagya was next. Four soaps – SaathNibhaanaSaathiyaon Star Utsavwith a frequency of 6 and CWI of 32,064 (000s) Sums;KumkumBhagya with a frequency of 6 on Zee TV and CWI of 27,559(000s) Sums; Village Boy Production Pvt. Ltd. AfsarBitiya on Zee Anmol with a frequency of 3 and CWI of 16,274(000s) Sums;  and the Mahesh BhattGurudevBhalla Productions distributed Udaan with a frequency of 2 and CWI of 8,484(000s) Sums on Rishtey made the Family Drama genre the second most watched one during weeks 1 to 10 of 2017 in the Hindi GEC (R) market. Please refer to the chart below:

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One day internationals and T20 international - Cricket came next – with a frequency of 6 – (one more than Hindi GEC (U+R)) and CWI of 53,224 (000s) Sums. The Super Hero genre through Optimystix Entertainment’s Baalveer on Sony Pal was the fourth most watched genre with a frequency of 6 and CWI of 30,838 (000s) Sums.

The Historical genre through Balaji Telefilm’s Jodha Akbar on Zee Anmol was fifth most watched genre in rural India during the first 10 weeks of 2017. The genre had a frequency of 4 and CWI of 19,736 (000s) Sums.

Taarak Mehta KaOoltahChashmah in week 10 with a rank of 5 represented the single frequency that Sitcom’s had during the period under consideration in this paper.

Hindi GEC Urban (U) genre preferences

Hindi GEC Urban audiences preferred Family drama to Supernatural based on BARC data for the first 10 weeks of 2017. The Family drama genre led by KumkumBhagya on Zeel was the most watched genre in the Hindi GEC Urban market with a frequency of 25 out of a possible 50 and TWI of 1,59,432 (000s) Sums.

The Supernatural genre came in next, led by the sole programme from that genre in the top 5 lists during all the 10 weeks of 2017 - Naagin Season 2 on Colors TV. Naagin Season 2 was the most watched show in the Hindi GEC Urban space during all the 10 weeks of 2017 with a frequency of 10 and CWI of 76,585. The next best contender for the most watched programme in the same space during the period under consideration was KumkumBhagya also with a frequency of 10 and with CWI of 64,208 (000s) Sums. Shakti - AstitvaKeEhsaas Ki was another show, on Star Plus, that was the third most watched show in Urban Hindi GEC markets with a frequency of 9 and CWI of 57,495 (000s) Sums during the first 10 weeks of 2017. Please refer to the charts below:

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The Kapil Sharma show with a frequency of 7 in the top 5 programmes list brought the Stand-up Comedy genre to third place with CWI of 46,483 (000s) Sums. Urban audiences also seemed to like the mythology Historical genre – Shani on Colors with a frequency of 3 and CWI of 18,824 (000s) Sums.

Two awards on two separate channels – One on Star Plus - Star Screen Awards 2017 (7,231 (000s) Sums)) and the other on Colors - Sansui Colors Stardust Awards (Impressions – 6,557 (000s) Sums)) brought this genre to the sixth place with CWI of 13,788 (000s) Sums in the Hindi GEC (U) space. Taarak Mehta KaOoltahChashmah fared better in the urban Hindi GEC space with a frequency of 2. Reality in the form of Bigg Boss season 10 had a frequency of 1 in the list.

Parting shot

Rural India has overtaken urban India in terms of absolute numbers of TV households in India according to a Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) study. Urban India may have 84 million (8.4 crore) of the total 183 million (18.3 crore) TV households, with a penetration of close to 87 percent. But rural India has overtaken it with 99 million (9.9crore) TV households, even as TV penetration remains 52 percent.

While the quality of content produced by various houses has steadily improved, certain production houses such as Balaji Telefilms Limited seemed to have got the pulse of the viewers’ just right, going by the success of their shows, be they from the Family drama or Supernatural genres.

The Indian Premier League (cricket) is just a few weeks away. Overall, numbers of programmes and consequently channels and networks are likely to drop as past history has shown. It will be a challenge for the programme creators to create riveting and sticky content, if not to draw eyeballs from IPL, then to at least retain a large part of their audience. Indian viewers are definitely in for a treat!

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