Mumbai: The battle for viewership between general entertainment channels (GECs) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket extravaganza is far from over.
In the last two weeks, MAX, the Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd channel that’s broadcasting the Twenty20 cricket tournament, has beaten leading Hindi GECs by a wide margin in terms of gross rating points.
Gross rating points are the total of all television rating points (TRPs), which in turn indicate the percentage of people watching a show in a given time band and in a specific market. They serve as a measure of the popularity of a programme or channel and are used by advertisers to determine their media plans.
In the last two weeks, MAX has exceeded 400 GRPs, outperforming the current GEC market leader and closest rival Star Plus with a margin of close to or more than 100 GRPs in Hindi-speaking markets, according to Tam Media Research Pvt. Ltd data.
“The IPL matches are during prime time from 7.30 to 11pm. Obviously they will eat into the viewership of soaps,” said Gopinath Menon, an independent media consultant based in Delhi, adding that IPL has a larger audience base.
Probably under the heat of competition from IPL, leading Hindi entertainment channels such as Star India Pvt. Ltd and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd have run advertisements flaunting their prime-time viewership.
The channels claimed that their year-long Hindi soaps have a more loyal viewership than IPL, which runs for a little over a month.
A TAM spokesperson clarified that the channels had interpreted the data on their own and the viewership monitoring agency had nothing to do with their adverisement.
Rohit Gupta, president of network sales at Multi Screen Media, said the advertisement reflected the “desperation” of the entertainment channels.
“If IPL is making massive revenues to the tune of Rs750 crore, it’s got to come from somewhere,” he said. The advertisers’ budgets are not increasing and the GECs are feeling the pinch, he added.
Anupam Vasudev, executive vice-president (marketing) at Star India, said Star had never claimed that it was delivering better gross rating points than MAX in its ad.
“We made a comparison between some of out top shows (half-hour slot) with the IPL (half-hour slot). An average of 17 minutes is spent on Bidaai versus an average of 14.7 minutes of IPL,” he said.