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Business News/ Industry / Media/  KBC, Bigg Boss TRPs down
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KBC, Bigg Boss TRPs down

The IPL attracted a big chunk of the young, male audience during prime time

KBC was also hurt by the lack of studio audiences, in keeping with physical distancing norms. (MINT_PRINT)Premium
KBC was also hurt by the lack of studio audiences, in keeping with physical distancing norms. (MINT_PRINT)

Viewership of Indian television’s biggest properties Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and Bigg Boss fell this year since their launch in early October, as rival content from sports and the web competed for viewers.

Television rating points (TRPs) of both programmes stood at 1.5 against 2.5-3 a year ago, according to three people including media buyers and entertainment industry experts, down by about 50%.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc), the official monitoring agency, is yet to release viewership figures for the two shows, and declined Mint’s request for the data.

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was held from 19 September to 10 November, attracted a big chunk of the young, male audience during prime time, while the urban Hindi-speaking audience is gradually shifting to online content, media industry analysts said.

Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd, which broadcasts Bigg Boss, declined to comment while Sony Entertainment Television, which airs KBC, did not respond to Mint’s queries.

“Both KBC and Bigg Boss have not performed as well as last year, at least on TV. IPL definitely has a role to play, given that both shows launched during the tournament, which is the first time either has been on air during the IPL," said Shailesh Kapoor, chief executive officer of media consulting company Ormax.

Since IPL is over, the shows may see more viewers, but that remains to be seen, Kapoor added.

Others said KBC was also hurt by the lack of studio audiences, in keeping with physical distancing norms. “Non-fiction, overall, has not done that well in this pandemic year. Even (viewership of) The Kapil Sharma Show is down by almost 40%. Disruption of schedules because of the pandemic seems to have led to lesser appointment viewing for non-fiction shows," Kapoor added.

Viewership ratings of Bigg Boss often take up to two months to grow, as people slowly understand the contestants gathered in a house in the reality show.

Kishan Kumar, chief growth officer at media agency Wavemaker India, said viewers could always expect quick boosters (or fun innovations to look forward to) in both shows—Bigg Boss is famous for surprises while KBC is known to have celebrity episodes that raise viewership.

However, lower ratings mean unmet advertiser expectations, Kapoor said, adding this could impact future seasons.

During the pandemic, while women and family audiences —never the core audience for reality shows—have remained glued to fiction, young and male audiences have taken either to the IPL or to web content that is slowly gaining traction among Hindi-speaking viewers media industry analysts said. The past few weeks in particular have seen titles such as Mirzapur 2 (Amazon Prime Video) and Scam 1992-The Harshad Mehta Story (SonyLIV) stand out.

“Drama, in general, has done a lot better than non-fiction, a case in point being new launches such as Anupamaa on Star Plus. New content has not just been a breath of fresh air during the pandemic, a lot of people have also realized the importance of family values that these shows deal with," said a senior executive from a broadcast network who did not want to be named.

Anupamaa, overlapping with some portion of KBC’s time slot, has garnered TRPs of 3.5, according to the executive from the broadcast network.

Karan Taurani, an analyst at Elara Capital Ltd, termed the shifting eyeballs a worrying sign for paid Hindi television.

English-speaking Indian audiences are already seen moving to streaming platforms, a trend reflected in the closure of several English channels such as HBO SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition) and AXN SD and HD

The return of channels such as Star Utsav, Zee Anmol, Colors Rishtey, Sony Pal and Zee Anmol Cinema to the FTA (free-to-air) category has enabled massive gains for them from tier-II and tier-III towns, and it is telling that all new channel launches in the past few months have been in regional languages.

“Hindi TV may feel the pinch in another 10-12 months with some non-core genres such as music possibly shutting down," Taurani said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata writes about the media and entertainment industry for Mint, focusing on everything from traditional film and TV to newer areas like video and audio streaming, including the business and regulatory aspects of both. She loves movies and spends a lot of her free time in theatres, which makes her job both fun and a bit of a challenge given that entertainment news often just talks about the glamorous side of things. Lata, on the other hand, tries to find and report on themes and trends in the entertainment world that most people don't notice, even though a lot of people in her country are really into movies. She’s a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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Published: 17 Nov 2020, 06:54 AM IST
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