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The curious case of dramatic increase in viewership for Star Plus beating lockdown blues

Star Plus’ viewership in Week 19, which is double of Colors and triple of Zee TV, was possible due to the combination of three gods — Ram (Ramayan), Krishna (Mahabharat of 2013) and Shiv (Mahadev). These three shows contribute 70% to the channel’s total viewership. The industry is curious to know why things are working only for one channel while nothing seems to work for its competitors

Picture this: The viewership of Star Plus is more than double that of Colors and about more than triple of Zee TV. And it took just about four weeks for Star Plus to create this huge and unbelievable “social distancing” from its fierce competitors.

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According to BARC India data for Week 19 (HSM (U+R): NCCS All : 2+ Individuals), Star Plus garnered 865 million Impressions while Colors recorded 429 million. Zee TV managed 272 million Impressions in the latest data.

Now, look at the helplessness of the competitors. They are literally left with “no option”. The best they can do is to wait for either production reboot or for some combination to click for them. The million-dollar question the industry is asking is why things are working only for one channel while no combination seems to work for its competitors?

The viewership pattern of entertainment channels during the nationwide lockdown has thrown up many surprises so far. It is evident that only mythology and comedy is working, but for not everyone.

First, Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan worked for Doordarshan and BR Chopra’s Mahabharat for DD Bharti. And now Star Plus’ own Mahabharat, which first aired in 2013, and Devon Ke Dev - Mahadev are making strides.

In the meantime, comedy channel SAB TV continued to entertain comedy lovers.

Coming back to Star Plus, let us take a look at the viewership growth trajectory during the lockdown till Week 19. It grew three times from Week 14 to Week 19.

Star Plus

HSM (Imp’000s)

HSM Urban (Imp’000s)

HSM Rural (Imp’000s)

W11

6,52,299

4,42,240

2,10,059

W12

4,71,544

3,12,738

1,58,806

W13

2,86,087

1,82,384

1,03,704

W14

2,87,104

1,82,794

1,04,310

W15

3,52,281

2,28,955

1,23,326

W16

4,77,436

3,14,035

1,63,401

W17

5,75,782

3,79,814

1,95,968

W18

7,98,411

5,41,519

2,56,892

W19

8,65,020

5,88,785

2,76,234

This miracle was possible due to the combination of the three most powerful gods Ram (Ramayan), Krishna (Mahabharat of 2013) and Shiv (Mahadev). These three shows contributed 70% of the channel’s viewership in Week 19.

However, the individual shows, especially Mahabharat, continued to grow exponentially every week. Mahabharat grew 23 times in seven weeks from 14 million Impressions in Week 13 to 326 million Impressions in Week 19.

Imp’000s

Mahabharat (2013)

Ramayan

Devon Ke Dev Mahadev

Total

Star Plus viewership

Contribution to the overall viewership

W13

13960

 

 

13960

286087

4.88%

W14

46787

 

 

46787

287104

16.30%

W15

113707

 

12185

125892

352281

35.74%

W16

220598

 

18085

238683

477436

49.99%

W17

251868

 

45481

297349

575782

51.64%

W18

319653

105030

93137

517820

798411

64.86%

W19

326146

169447

110933

606526

865020

70.12%

Ramayan's success on DD had nostalgia attached to it, which helped break all viewership records. In its final week, Uttar Ramayan recorded an average viewership of 68 million Impressions.

But Ramayan did not repeat a similar success in its second airing on Star Plus but garnered about three times more viewership than BR Chopra’s Mahabharat on Colors. Both shows started airing on Monday, May 4.

HSM/ 2+/ Episode-wise Imp'000 {Avg}

Ramayan

(Star Plus)

Mahabharat

(Colors)

W18-Mon

9438

3505

W18-Tue

8512

3111

W18-Wed

8508

2877

W18-Thu

8492

3834

W18-Fri

9711

3068

W19-Sat

10129

3082

W19-Sun

7666

1958

W19-Mon

7661

1995

W19-Tue

5448

2031

W19-Wed

8104

2674

W19-Thu

8310

2667

W19-Fri

8580

2871

Ramayan on Star Plus kicked off with an average viewership of 9 million Impressions in Week 18 versus 3.3 million Impressions for Mahabharat on Colors. Ramayan’s viewership on Star Plus dropped to 8 million Impressions in Week 19 while Mahabharat on Colors dropped to 2.5 million.

BR Chopra’s Mahabharat is continuing to air on DD Bharti and it has reached its peak where the average viewership of the show is at 23 million as compared to 2.5 million on Colors in Week 19.

Colors had brought its popular show Krishna back before it acquired the rights of BR Chopra’s Mahabharat. On the other hand, Zee TV tried too many combinations, including OTT shows from Zee5 and AltBalaji, which could not impress viewers.

Although advertising has almost disappeared from Hindi general entertainment channels, it will be interesting to see how much edge Star Plus has with this viewership growth.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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