Amitabh Bachchan kept his tryst with super-stardom on his birthday on Monday. His quiz master avatar fetched Sony one of its highest TV ratings (TVRs) in recent times.
Kaun Banega Crorepati-4 (KBC-4), hosted by Bachchan, got an average TVR of 5 on its opening day on Monday, according to data from TV rating agency aMap. The launch episode had a peak rating of 7.7, according to aMap. TVRs denote the percentage of viewers who watched the show for a stipulated period of time.
The launch day ratings were better than those of Khatron ke Khiladi-3 and Bigg Boss-4, two other reality shows hosted by Bollywood stars on Colors, the rival general entertainment channel (GEC). According to aMap data, Khatron ke Khiladi-3, hosted by Priyanka Chopra, and Bigg Boss-4 hosted by Salman Khan, had got average TVRs of 2.4 and 3.6, respectively, on their launch days. Sony is gearing up to improve its position in the ratings chart, where it is presently placed at the fourth place behind STAR Plus, Colors and Zee TV, respectively.
The launch day ratings of KBC-4 are encouraging for the channel, as the TVRs of the show have seen a gradual decline over the years. During the first season in 2000, it had an average TVR of 14.1, a feat that has not been repeated on Indian TV.
While the second edition notched an average TVR of 11.1, the third season, with Shah Rukh Khan as host, recorded an average of just 6.8, according to TV audience monitoring agency TAM. Since a show with a TVR of 5 is considered a hit today, due to the increase in the number of channels and viewership fragmentation, there is still steam left in it, say industry observers.
On Monday, Bachchan's magic seemed to work, as in the time-band that KBC-4 was on air, it was the highest rated show among the programmes of other Hindi GECs, includings STAR Plus, Colors, Zee TV and Imagine TV. "High opening day ratings were expected as the channel had a huge promotion and marketing budget for the show. The entire city has been painted red with hoardings of celebrity-driven shows.
However, it is to be seen whether the show manages to maintain the ratings during the entire period that it is on air," said a Mumbai-based media planner, asking not to be named as his agency had bought ad spots for clients on the show.
Reality shows hosted by Bollywood actors on Hindi GECs are the current flavour. Akshay Kumar will host MasterChef India on STAR Plus from October 16.
Huge sums of money are riding on these three shows, including Bigg Boss-4 and KBC-4. The channels have together forked our 100 crore just to get the celebrities to anchor the mega programmes. According to industry estimates, the three shows are expected to garner around Rs 270 crore of ad revenue -- nearly 10 per cent of the total revenues that Hindi GECs normally get in a year.