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03-21-2010, 11:21 PM #1
IPL3, daily soaps, the war continues
The verdict is out. Lalit Modi can finally pat himself on the back. If television ratings are anything to go by, then the IPL season 3 is a roaring success so far.
Riding high on the ‘It’s back home campaign’ and sterling performances of the old warhorses — Tendulkar, Kumble, Kallis, Vaas and Co. — the homegrown T20 tournament has garnered stupendous response from the TV viewing audience.
According to the data release by TAM media, the viewership of the IPL 3 has increased by 43 per cent in comparison to IPL 2 held in South Africa. This is also largely due to the increase in DTH services in homes, mainly in the metros. The opening match between Team Kolkata and Team Hyderabad averaged a rating of 7 in six-metros and in the cable homes (C&S 4+ years). The same match generated a rating of 8.6 on the digital television homes (DTH and digital cable) also in the six metros. The IPL 3 managed to edge out soap operas that were ruling the airwaves. And getting into the groove of the matches were industry folks who tuned in to watch the rivalry. “The IPL definitely affects the viewership in most homes as men mainly want to catch up on cricket,”says actor Angad Hasija who plays the lead in Sapna Baabul Ka... Bidaai, which was beaten to the top slot by the IPL 3 matches in the first few days of the tournament. “At home my wife and mom love watching TV shows, but when I’m around it’s just cricket for me. Sometimes we flip between the shows and the game. But honestly, constant updates on the score is necessary,” says Angad. Actor Rohit Roy too is swearing by the IPL this year. “I am watching the IPL. I even went to the Brabourne Stadium to catch the Team Mumbai Vs Team Rajasthan match. It was a great match. I was sad that Team Rajasthan lost after getting close, but at the same time I was happy Team Mumbai won. I’m supporting Team Kolkata, Team Mumbai and Team Rajasthan. One is my matrubhoomi (Kolkata), one is my karmabhoomi (Mumbai) and one is my emotional attachment as I hosted the RR during the first edition of the IPL.”
Return of the prodigal
But all’s not lost on the TV drama front. Post the initial brouhaha, the average TV rating (TVR) of the first 8 matches in this season was 6.23. This in turn gave shows like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai space to regain lost ground. Yeh Rishta pipped the tourney to gain number one slot with a rating of 7 and Bidaai followed close on the heels with 6.6. If anything the rating meter turned a yo-yo with the scales tipping either way. Explaining this actor/producer Anuj Saxena says, “Cricket is a religion in the nation and the TRP is affected by the IPL. But in smaller towns and homes where the excitement of the IPL is yet to reach, the soap operas provide daily dose of entertainment. That’s why, shows won the race for a few days by a slight margin. Moreover a team like Rajasthan may not evoke the same response from the Mumbai crowd the way a Team Mumbai game does. So that also tips the balance a bit.”
Producer Rajan Shahi, believes that the reason the shows have been giving the IPL stiff competition is due to the content. “This is the third year that Yeh Rishta and Bidaai have touched the highest TRP during the IPL season. We stay true to our storyline and that held the interest of the viewers,” explains Shahi. Thanks to the strong content, shows like Uttaran and Naa Aana Iss Des... Laado, and Zee for Pavitra Rishta and Agle Janam Mohe Bitya Hi Kijo also ruled eyeballs alongwith Yeh Rishta... and Bidaai as per TAM ratings.
Coming of age
In spite of the rating meters, what’s reassuring for the Season 3 of IPL is that it has managed to maintain healthy ratings compared to the last two years. This has also resulted in a boost in ad volumes for the channel which is up by 25 per cent. This year the reach of the format has increased as against the amount of time spent viewing each match. It was, therefore the first match that tilted the ratings balance this season towards the IPL. And the official broadcaster is reaping the benefits of the slam bang format of the game. “The number of eyeballs the IPL attracted has been extremely good this year. As compared to last year, especially in a fragmented TV market like India, the rating are extremely encouraging,” says Rohit Gupta, President Network Sales, and Licensing & Telephony, of the official broadcasting channel. TV experts are of the view that viewership trends of the first three matches are a reflection of the IPL’s coming of age in the Indian market. And somewhere in the boardroom of the BCCI Lalit Modi must be smiling from ear-to-ear.