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Soaps grab more eyeballs than IPL?

Are programmes on general entertainment channels (GECs) commanding more viewerships than the Indian Premiere League (IPL)?

business Updated: Mar 28, 2010 22:38 IST
Anita Sharan

Are programmes on general entertainment channels (GECs) commanding more viewerships than the Indian Premiere League (IPL)?

According to an analysis of TAM data by Star Plus and Zee TV, GEC shows are generating bigger viewership than the much-talked about IPL.

Television Audience Measurement, or TAM, is one of the popular television audience measurement agencies, whose data is used by broadcasting industry and media planners.

The revelations include:

Top Hindi shows on GECs deliver 30 per cent higher television ratings than IPL.

Loyalty to soaps continues to be strong, with top shows showing more time spent than the IPL.

The cumulative reach of top shows on the GECs equals IPL

Top shows bust gender myths as men remain as committed to soaps as the IPL.

“Two things emerge clearly. One, that regular GEC shows are growing in terms of audience numbers despite IPL. And two, the return on investment, as a result, on the IPL is much lower than on the GECs for advertisers. The five times premium advertisers paid on the IPL is not delivering as much return,” Akash Chawla, vice-president marketing, Zee TV and Zee Cinema, said.

“The individual top serials on GECs, according to the analysis, are bigger than the IPL brand. And our growing male audience is not shifting away from soaps to watch IPL playing at the same time,” Anupam Vasudev, executive vice-president, marketing and communication, Star India, said.

The comparison between GEC programmes’ viewership while IPL matches were played and IPL’s rating during the same time slot have been done by Star and Zee on the basis of viewership time spent and television ratings in that time slot.

However, TAM, while not refuting the figures provided by the channels, is not in agreement with the two on the scientific validity of the comparison. According to TAM, taking half-hour from a longer match to measure viewership cannot be accurate because different points in the match may hold audience interests differently.

“Time spent cannot be the parameter for such a comparison. Reach becomes important, especially if the comparison is made on the same time frame,” a TAM spokesperson said.

Vasudev disagreed with TAM’s view, saying that since the soaps and the IPL matches had different time durations, the analysis based on the number of hours could be the only point of comparison.

“You can compare ratings and top soaps are delivering comparable ratings with IPL. However, if you look at reach, you have to look at comparable time bands,” said Manas Mishra, media planning professional and executive vice-president and country head, Mudra Connext.