MUMBAI: Last week (week 4) saw Hindi GEC market leader Star Plus and newbie Colors contesting to grab the top spot. Colors was only 6.3 GRPs (gross rating points) behind Star Plus, while its channel share was half a percentage point lower at 25.
However, the TAM ratings for week 5 (25-31 January, HSM 4+ C&S homes) have a different story to tell.
Not only has Star successfully held onto the number one spot with a vice-like grip, but it has also managed to widen its gap with tough as nails rival Colors by garnering GRPs of 317.
Additionally, unlike last week, the channel share margin between the two has also increased with Star Plus pocketing 26 per cent and Colors slipping to 22.
Does this mean that Colors is losing some colour and fading?
"No way!!! The competition is extremely rigourous," says Star India EVP and Star Plus GM Keertan Adyanthaya. "In fact, there is a three way fight at every timeslot and sometimes even a four way battle. We've seen some differentiated content from Colors and Zee is also a resurgent rival. However, this competition inspires us to strive even harder to stay ahead."
Star has grown on the back of the15th Annual Star Screen Award, which delivered around 30 GRPs (red carpet and the event). Aired at 8 pm on 25 January (Sunday), the Award delivered 4.8 TVR over a four-and-a half-hour slot.
The channel claims that the event was viewed by approximately 23 million people spending an average of 55 minutes on the show. The half hour red carpet episode that was telecast at 7.30 pm the same day notched a TVR of 1.5. "The Star Screen Awards were extremely successful for us and we have many more such high-potential shows coming up," Adyanthaya adds.
Meanwhile, on the programming front, Bidaai remained the top rated show on Star Plus delivering an average of 8.0 TVR across five episodes while the Friday special clocked 8.98 TVR to bag the 'highest rated episode of the week'.
When quizzed about why Star decided to slice Bidaai from an hour slot to a half hour daily even after if was grabbing good TVRs, Adyanthaya explains, "Bidaai has been an extremely successful show for Star. We wanted to innovate by providing more of Bidaai everyday by taking it up to a hour of programming. The story of Bidaai, was then at a stage where we wanted to speed up the track and move it forward. The hour long experiment had paid its dividends on screen but it ended up taking a heavy toll on the talent and the technical crew of the show. Providing four hours of content every week, week after week was a herculean task. That's the reason why we decided to switch back to half hours."
For Star Plus, the newly launched weekly Yeh Rishta too has witnessed an 11 per cent growth over week 4's average of 5.6 TVR finishing at 6.2 TVR wherein the Tuesday episode singularly pocketed a TVR of 6.51.
"Yeh Rishta has been the most successful launch of a television show across all channels in the last three years and is rising rapidly," Adyanthaya quips.
Kiran Bedi's Aap Ki Kachehri also managed to bag a TVR of 3.4, a 23 per cent growth over its last week's average of 2.7 TVR.
When asked how the channel plans to maintain this pace in the upcoming weeks, Adyanthaya opines, "The battle for leadership is not fought over just a single week but over months and years. We have planned our content and shows in such a way so as to maintain a steady growth of ratings in coming times."
Meanwhile, for Colors, Balika Vadhu remained as the top rated show for the week with a peak TVR of 7.74; Jai Shri Krishna clocked a peak of 5.49 TVR in the week. Jeevan Saathi and Uttaran also added their bit with peak TVRs of 3.57 and 3.54 respectively helping the channel retain the second spot.
Whereas, the third in command, Zee TV, registered 209 GRPs - down by 11.6 points over last week's (220.6). Interestingly, its newly launched dance reality show Dance India Dance with Mithun Chakraborty as grandmaster opened with a TVR of 3.46 at 9.30 pm. Meanwhile, Zee's top rated fiction Chhoti Bahu at the 7.30 pm slot has climbed up the TVR ladder further to fetch a rating of 4.13.
A close look at the other GECs: Sony Entertainment television has marched 1.2 points ahead from last week to clock 75 GRPs; Star One has pushed NDTV Imagine down to jump to the fifth spot with 63 GRPs. NDTV Imagine GRPs have plunged by 11.8 points standing at 61 GRPs. Sahara One has also seen a 5.9 points fall in GRPs from last week to end at 49. The GRPs for SAB, 9X and Zee Next stand at 47, 35 and 2 respectively.
With so much unpredictable rise-and-fall in the GEC space, the drama in the forthcoming weeks will surely be something to watch out for.