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New Delhi: Some 15.7 million people tuned into NDTV Imagine, the general entertainment channel (GEC) of New Delhi Television Ltd, to watch the finale of ‘Rakhi ka Swayamwar,’ a reality show featuring Bollywood starlet Rakhi Sawant, in which she chose her future husband.

Grand finale: Rakhi Sawant (left) got engaged to Elesh Parujanwala, whom she chose from among 16 bachelors of the reality show. AFP

The show put in the shade the International Cricket Council’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket final on 21 June that brought in TRPs of 3.5% for its broadcaster ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd’s Star Cricket channel.

“People were curious to find out what the show was about because the concept was new and this is what made them stay with us throughout the show," said Sameer Nair, chief executive officer, NDTV Imagine.

The show was about Sawant choosing her future husband from among 16 contestants who were shortlisted from at least 12,000 entries the channel received and was the first of its kind on Indian television.

“We were sceptical if the show would work at first but we took a lot of effort into making it in a manner that would make it palatable for Hindi GEC audiences," said Nair. “We made sure it was very different from the edgy ‘Splitsvilla’ kind of thing."

‘Splitsvilla’ is a dating-oriented reality show aired by MTV India of Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Inc., an entertainment content company, and Network18 Group.

‘Rakhi ka Swayamwar’ was on air from 29 June to 2 August and managed to at least double the channel’s gross rating points, or GRPs, from 21 to 44 during the time period, coming in at a clear No.4 in the GEC rankings after Star India Pvt. Ltd’s Star Plus channel, Viacom’s Colors and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s Zee TV. GRPs are the sum total of the TRPs of a particular programme. The channel drew the maximum viewers among GECs during the telecast of the final episode, according to aMap.

The viewership data has been collected from cable and satellite television viewers aged 4 and above.

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