Beyond imagination

Imagine TV had been consistently clocking in poor TRPs in the last six months and from once Number 4 channel it had slipped into the Tier 2 channel category, after Life Ok and SAB

Numbers are important. They can change the fortune of a general entertainment channel (GEC) as those associated with Imagine TV would tell you. For a GEC that had clocked in over 100 GRPs (Gross Rating Points – used in media buying and media effectivess analysis to represent the audience share of your spots or placements and times the frequency or number of advertisements run) in July 2011 post Ratan Ka Rishta, the current GRPs had slid to a paltry 54, way behind Life Ok and SAB TV – considered Tier 2 channels. While Ramayanhad taken the channel to newer highs, followed by Bandini which ran for three years, none of Imagine’s ongoing shows ( Baba Aise Var Dhoondo, Jamuna Paar, Mi Aaji Aur Sahib, Haar Jeet) figured in the top 20 list of shows, according to TAM peoplemeter.

Sample some of these numbers, according to the TAM Media Research. Star Plus as usual has been the market leader for 12 years and currently has 289 GRPs. Even after a shaky 2011 (without much growth) and when the channel lost 25 GRPs to its sister channel Life Ok, Star continues its smooth run banking heavily on new daily soaps like Diya Aur Baati Hum, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?, Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Haiwhich typically figure in the top 10 shows in cable and satellite homes (as per TAM Peoplemeter), while old favourites Saath Nibhana Saathiya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Haiand Mann Ki Awaaz Pratigyaare as strong as ever. Reality shows, Masterchef Season 2and Survivor Indiahad a lukewarm response. Sony is the runners up for now, but has lost some of its advantage – from 240 GRPs post KBC5, the show has now 217 GRPs. The channel’s flagship show, Bade Achche Lagte Haiclocks in an average of 3+ TRPs, while other fiction shows, Kya Hya Tera Vadaand Dekha Ek Khwabare just about ok. Crime shows, CIDand Crime Patro,lhave emerged as surprise winners and TRP-trippers, for Sony in the last few weeks. The channel’s hoping, the fresh season of Indian Idolto be launched in June, post IPL-5, will tilt the viewership scales in its favour again. Number 3 channel Colors with 205 GRPs has a strong weekday band and the new shows, Sasural Simar Kaand Parichayare consistent, while Balika Vadhuand Uttaranare frontrunners as always, the former managing to finish in the top 5, most weeks. Zee TV at number 4, is a close contender with 200 GRPs. It has lost 60-70 GRPs in November, but its new launches Punar Vivah, Afsar Bitiyaand Hitler Didiare showing promise, while the generation leap of Pavitra Rishta has also sparked a renwed interest in the show.

SAB Tv with 140 GRPs is a Tier 2 channel and has consistent performers in Chidiya Ghar, Lapataganjand the just launched Movers & Shakers. Star One’s revamped avatar, Life OK might have garnered 44 GRPs in the later part of its existence, but in the opening week, Life Ok got 87 GRPs which has stablised at 82-3 GRPs at present. Whether it can sustain its viewership with the current platter is to be seen. Even in a fragmented market, where viewership is divided, advertisers as always call the shots. And numbercrunching does throw up startling truths. Imagine was in deep trouble, and may be, Veena’s Swayamvarmight have done the magic for the channel, but clearly Turner International didn’t want to take a chance and the channel will now head the way 9X and Real had in the past! So, in all probability, Imagine’s loss will turn out to be Life Ok, Sahara One and may be even SAB TV’s gain, as that viewership is likely to shift to those channels . Just imagine! (no pun intended).

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