Advertisement

Home / India / OVERKILL POSER FOR CROREPATI 

OVERKILL POSER FOR CROREPATI 

Read more below

FROM ELLA DATTA   |   Published 17.02.01, 12:00 AM

New Delhi, Feb. 17 :    New Delhi, Feb. 17:  Does Indian television's dream show need a lifeline? Plateauing ratings and fluctuating advertisement revenues have raised questions on whether viewer fatigue has set into Kaun Banega Crorepati?, STAR's prime time jackpot. Figures rolled out by media firms show that three weeks after its debut, Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke, Sony's zippy answer to STAR's sizzling property, has bagged a chunk of the ad pie. Pravin Kumar of COFT (Current Opinion Future Trends), an independent agency monitoring ad spends on television for various brands, says that KBC's ad revenue has been declining from November 2000. Compared to Rs 16.7 crore it got in November, the programme's earnings slipped 25 per cent in December and even further, to almost Rs 8 crore, in January 2001. Kumar says that on week one after Chappar's release, Crorepati earned close to Rs 2 crore while the Govinda show generated ads worth Rs 5.5 crore. On week two, KBC's earnings rose to Rs 2 crore while Chappar's came down to Rs 5.4 crore. On week three, KBC's income jumped to Rs 3.2 crore while the Sony show's dipped to Rs 4.5 crore. STAR shrugged away the figures. Sumantra Datta, head of marketing, STAR Plus, pointed out that companies usually cut down on their ad spend during this time of the year. Both channels, however, emphatically denied that they had cut down their stratospheric ad rates to woo corporates. The buzz in the market is that KBC has reduced its rates from Rs 3.3 lakh for a 10-second slot to Rs 1.6 lakh and Sony has brought down its from Rs 2.35 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and below. Both Datta and Sony's Kacon Sethi, however, insist they are sticking to their rate cards. Though STAR claims that Crorepati continues to be the numero uno with a television viewer rating (TVR) of 7.2 points for the week ending February 3, figures suggest that viewers are gradually straying from Amitabh Bachchan's quiz show. TVR points are calculated as a percentage of the cable and satellite audience watching a programme. STAR gets to the figure after studying data collected from 22 cities across the country for prime time (8 pm-11 pm) programmes. After climbing the ratings chart the quickest following its July 2000 debut, Crorepati's TVR fell to between 8 and 9 points in December and slipped further to between 6 and 7 points in January. Media specialists say that viewer fatigue setting in after three to four months is quite common. Bashab Sarkar, managing consultant of Media Network, a division of O&M, says every programme has its life-cycle after which it loses its initial charm. 'KBC is stagnating,' agrees Mona Jain of Mudra, Delhi. The analysts, however, were quick to point out that the fluctuating ratings should not be seen as the fading of the Bachchan magic. Says Sushil Pandit of The Hive, an advertising agency: 'Of course, audience fatigue has set in. This is inevitable. There is a cyclical quality about every programme genre and KBC is not immune from it.' STAR remains convinced about Crorepati's invincibility. Says Datta: 'KBC is the Harley-Davidson of entertainment programmes. We are the kings of prime time.' Datta brushed aside talk of the programme losing viewers. The TVR, he argues, has declined gradually over a period of 30 weeks. On week 35, KBC remains the leader, says Datta. He also insisted that Crorepati sticks to 10 minutes of commercial time in each episode. According to COFT, Sony has sold more than 10 minutes of commercial time per episode. Chappar clocked 2200 seconds of ad time for three episodes on week one. That worked out to an average of 12 minutes of commercial time per day. Sony has put out data, collected on the basis of the AC Nielson TAM ratings, which say that Chappar had an average TVR of 11 points and a channel share of 46.5 per cent for five episodes up to February 3. Channel share is the percentage of viewers that a channel has at a specific time. Sony, however, bases its figures on data gathered for the 8pm to 9 pm slot for 11 cities only in the north and west. Despite the brave talk, STAR has started tinkering. It has organised successful celebrity shows - the latest being the one for the earthquake victims that had Sachin Tendulkar and Madhuri Dixit. The channel is also planning a junior KBC. Bachchan told The Telegraph that he is committed to hosting the show, which will probably begin in May. STAR is also considering extending KBC to weekends. In doing so, KBC is only following its original version. After most of its young viewers started deserting the show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire organised celebrity contests followed by other 'stunt' contestant episodes featuring college students, families, couples and rock musicians. Media watchers, while maintaining that KBC is still doing big numbers, appreciated Sony's strategy of not trying to become Crorepati's clone. Nitin Jain of HTA, Delhi, says KBC's ratings had to come down as it is difficult to sustain such high figures after three or four months. According to Jain, the expectations from Chappar were high but Sony's show has not lived up to them. Jain pointed out that the programme is different in treatment and style but not as a concept. Sarkar of Media Network, however, says that the Govinda-hosted show has a distinct mass appeal, especially in the north.    


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.