Mumbai: Aamir Khan’s million- dollar per episode debut show on Star India clocked a television rating (TVR) of 3.79 in three metros —Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata —according to a midweek release from TAM Media Research, the viewership monitoring agency for Indian television. The agency did not release data for the remaining three metros—Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad—as they do not constitute the Hindi Speaking Market, an agency official said.
Besides Star Plus, Satyamev Jayate, the one-and-a-half hour chat show, was aired across Star India’s network channels in regional languages as well as on state-owned DD National.
According to TAM data for all the six metros across nine channels, Satyamev Jayate’s first episode on female foeticide on 6 May clocked a TVR of 4.08 in cable and satellite (C&S) households. The rating was slightly higher at 4.27 when terrestrial homes were added to C&S households. TVR represents the percentage share of viewers watching a particular programme at any point of time during the telecast.
Grabbing eyeballs: Aamir Khan. HT photo
It’s too early to say definitively whether one of the most-hyped shows in recent times will be a success. The series has another 12 episodes to go.
Ashish Sehgal, executive vice-president at Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd, isn’t impressed with the numbers. Given that the Sunday morning programming slot was running dry and that there was so much marketing around Satyamev Jayate, the ratings should have been higher, he argued. “Our reality show Dance India Dance L’il Masters that went on air on 28 April had a viewership rating of 5.8 on its debut day and on Sunday the ratings rose to 6.2, at an all-India level.” To be sure, Zee’s dance reality show airs on Saturday and Sunday in the prime time slot of 9-10.30pm.
Hiren Pandit, managing partner at GroupM ESP, does not agree with Sehgal. The Sunday morning time slot is a challenge since its viewership has been dead for over 20 years. “It was a high-risk proposition for Star India. Good content draws audiences and the proof is in the ratings,” he said.
However, Pandit said that the initial curiosity around Khan playing host on television has helped gain impressive ratings. “But only quality content will help sustain the ratings going forward,” he added.
Star India executives refused to comment on the ratings and said they would do so when the all-India numbers are released.
On Sunday morning, between 11am and 12.30pm when the show was being aired, it reached around 8 million viewers in C&S homes and nearly 9 million viewers in terrestrial, C&S households (in the 4-plus age group).
To be sure, the buzz on social media was strong on the day the first episode was broadcast.
Mint reported on 7 May that Satyamev Jayate’s website received 42,000 likes on Facebook by around 9pm on 6 May. On Twitter, at least 3,800 tweets were posted on the subject. The data was recorded till 2.30 pm on the day.
According to a new study conducted by media agency Starcom MediaVest Group on Satyamev Jayate’s social media buzz, the overall opinion on Satyamev Jayate is positive. Of the total conversations tracked on social media platforms, 71% were positive, 24% were neutral and 5% were negative. The majority of these participants were male. The topic of the pilot episode was female foeticide.
More than 50% of the buzz came from Maharashtra, followed by Karnataka and the National Capital Region (Delhi and surrounding cities).
“The initial euphoria around the show has led to impressive ratings. However, the challenge for Star India will be to sustain the interest received by viewers,” said Starcom MediaVest Group India chief executive Mallikarjun Das. He added that people in the age group of 18-35 years generated maximum buzz on the social media for the show.
Satyamev Jayate was the most searched word on Google Trends in India on 6 May. The show received 660,643 likes on Facebook and 382,319 people were talking about it on 9 May, while Facebook public posts were 1,712 between 4 May and 9 May, according to the study. Twitter followers on Day 1 of Satyamev Jayate were 15,135 and it was among top five Twitter trends in India.
While the show may have generated interest across social media platforms in the last one week, its success will depend on how well forthcoming episodes can pull in viewers.
An executive at media buying agency Madison Media, who didn’t want to be named, said the ratings could drop in the future since the socio-economic topics are different for every episode and audiences’ interest may waver.