Mumbai: Dance and music shows have become the latest front in the clamour for television rating points (TRPs) among general entertainment channels, at a time when the viewership of soap operas is declining.
TRPs measure the percentage of viewers watching a programme at a particular time.
Zee TV, operated by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), has taken an early lead, with its reality show “Dance India Dance-Lil’ Masters”, garnering a TRP of 6.7 in its opening week. The channel claims this is the highest opening TRP for a show in three years.
“Chak Dhoom Dhoom” on rival Colors, run by Viacom 18 Pvt. Ltd, opened at 4.4. Both the shows are built around children.
In comparison, “Indian Idol” on Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd’s Sony channel got a rating of 3 and “Zara Nach Ke Dikha” on Star Plus, owned by Star India Pvt. Ltd, got a rating of 2.4.
Media buyers said these shows contributed to the gross rating points (GRPs)—the sum total of TRPs—of the channels, and determined who was in the lead. “They add to the overall gross rating points of channels, effecting sudden shifts in top positions,” said Manoj Malkani, vice-president of media buying agency MPG.
Malkani added that these reality shows were attracting viewers even as long-running soaps were losing their sheen.
Ajit Varghese, managing director, Maxus, GroupM India Pvt. Ltd, said the shows had been successful despite lacking novelty. “Some of them add 20-30 gross rating points to their channel each week. It could make or break the status of a channel.”
Explaining the uniformity of the format of these shows across channels, Varghese said channels could afford to be judicious about formats in a market where the gap among the top three channels was large. “But in a market where the gaps are narrow (such as India), you borrow from competition. Zee’s ‘Dance India Dance’ raised the bar for dance shows in its previous season and led to a lot of other channels taking on similar formats,” he said.
Advertising is following viewers to these shows. Varghese said they generate as much as Rs250 crore a year.
A media buyer, who asked not to be identified, said the title sponsorship of some of these shows cost Rs7-8 crore.
ZEEL’s chief revenue officer Joy Chakraborthy claimed the title sponsorship for ‘Dance India Dance Lil’ Masters’ had been inked at Rs9 crore, and ad slots were being sold at Rs2-2.5 lakh.
“We leveraged the equity of the brand and let our content do the talking,” said Nitin Vaidya, business head of Zee TV and chief operating officer of ZEEL, commenting on the success of the show. “After all, one cannot go wrong with superlative talent.”
Defending the low rating for “Zara Nach Ke Dikha”, Anupam Vasudev, executive vice president, Star India, said ‘Dance India Dance’ is an established brand.
Ashvini Yardi, head of programming at Colors, said at 4.4, the TRP for the first episode of “Chak Dhoom Dhoom” showed “there is immense potential for it to grow.”