Star Bharat viewership skews to rural India: BARC and Chrome data analyses

BENGALURU: Star India’s free-to-air (FTA) Hindi GEC Star Bharat was launched on 28 August 2017. Star Bharat is the new avatar of Star India’s Life OK that went off air. The channel has been rocking ratings tables since the very first week of launch under its new moniker.

The second rebranding and identity change of the youth oriented Star One, which was the earlier name for Life OK /Star Bharat seems to have worked. Star Bharat programs are mainly focused on the day to day entertainment. In the very first week (week 35 of 2017 – Saturday 26 August 2017 to Friday, 1 September 2017) of its launch, the channel moved up to fifth place in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly list of top 10 Hindi GEC channels in the Hindi Speaking Market (Urban+ Rural) NCCS All 2+ Individuals with 519.743 million weekly impressions from  tenth and ninth places obtained by Life OK in weeks 34 and 33 of 2017 with 328.527 million weekly impressions and 336.765 million weekly impressions respectively.

In week 36 of 2017, Star Bharat was ranked second in the Hindi GEC HSM (U+R) market with 669.588 million weekly impressions and in week 37 of 2017 (Saturday, 9 September 2017 to Friday, 15 September 2017) it was ranked third with 607.820 million weekly impressions.

As per BARC data, Life OK’s had viewership that was skewed towards urban audiences. Star Bharat has higher rural viewership as compared to urban. Please refer to the figure below:


A Chrome Data and Analytics (Chrome) survey study reveals interesting data about Star Bharat viewership’s swinging from urban to rural India.  

The sample size used by Chrome for its study was 12,097 HSM urban and 7,414 HSM rural respondents. The ratio between males and females was 69:31 approximately for both markets. Demographics for both urban and rural HSM markets were 21 percent 15 to 21 years; 44 percent 22 to 30 years; 23 percent 31 to 40 years; 10 percent 41 to 50 years and 2 percent 51 to 60 years.

96.8 percent of rural respondents and 97.2 percent urban respondents were aware of the launch of Star Bharat while the rest were not aware of the launch. 62 percent of rural and 74 percent of the respondents were aware that Life OK had gone off-air. 72 percent of rural and 79 percent of urban respondents were aware that Life OK had been replaced by Star Bharat.

More rural respondents had watched Star Bharat than urban respondents according to the Chrome survey study. 56 percent rural and 41 percent of the urban respondents had watched Star Bharat. 22 percent rural and 20 percent of the urban respondents watched the channel daily; 10 percent rural and 7 percent urban respondents watched it two to three times a week; 3 percent rural and 10 percent urban respondents watched Star Bharat once a week, 21 percent rural and 4 percent urban respondents had no fixed routines in watching the channel; while 44 percent rural and 59 percent urban respondents had not watched the channel at all.

Among the popular programmes on Star Bharat, 41 percent rural and 26 percent urban respondents said that they have watched Savdhaan India. The reasons for watching the Savdhaan India were: 27 percent rural and 24 percent urban respondents liked Crime shows; 18 percent rural and 9 percent urban respondents watched it for knowledge; 24 percent rural and 29 percent urban respondents felt Savdhaan India had an interesting story; 15 rural and 18 percent urban respondents felt that the programme showed reality and 15 percent rural and 21 percent urban respondents liked the format of the show.

Nimki Mukhiya is a serial that started airing on the channel on 28 August 2017. In rural India, 38 percent respondents said that they have watched Nimki Mukhiya as compared to 21 percent in urban India. 95 percent rural and 38 percent urban respondents watched the show because of the story, while 5 percent of rural and 62 percent of urban respondents watched the show because of the character.

Saam Daam Dand Bhed is a political drama show on the channel. According to the Chrome survey study, 36 percent rural and 22 percent urban and respondents watched the program. Both rural and urban India watched the show because of the story. 57 percent rural and 52 percent urban respondents said that they watched the show because of the story while 43 percent rural and 48 percent urban respondents said that they watched it because of the character.Kya Haal Mr. Panchaal is a family comedy show on Star Bharat. 33 percent of rural India watched the show as compared to 14 percent in urban India. Both rural and urban India have watched this show because of its comedy content with support from 62 percent of rural and 51 percent or the urban respondents.

Indian Hindi musical television series Om Shanti Om with Baba Ramdev of the Patanjali fame as the overhead judge started airing on Star Bharat on its launch day. 29 percent of rural and 20 percent of urban respondents have watched this show. 26 percent rural and 29 percent urban respondents said that they watched the show for entertainment; 23 percent rural and 34 percent urban respondents said that they watched the show for music; while 51 percent rural and 37 percent urban respondents said that they watched Om Shanti Om because it was a reality show.

The drama revenge thriller featuring an eight year old boy Ayushman Bhav airs on the channel. Only 28 percent respondents in rural India and 20 percent respondents in urban India have watched the show. 52 percent rural and 43 percent urban respondents said that they watched the show because of its story, while the remaining in each market said that they watched it because of the character.

It is early weeks as yet. Only time will tell how Star Bharat will fare.

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