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STAR Plus zooms ahead as Mahabharat shows who's the big boss on TV

Mahabharat recorded TVT of 849 among females in the 15-24 age group and 574 for males in the same age group

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

The modern avatar of might have been on air for just 12 days, but already seems to have won the battle. STAR India's flagship general entertainment channel has seen a significant leap in in thousands (TVT) for the week ended September 21. During that period, the channel's gross viewership in thousands (GVT) rose to 534,590 from 477,029 in the previous week. While nearly all shows on the channel saw a rise in TVTs, the most significant gain was in the 8.30 pm weekday slot, in which launched the The epic saga premiered on the channel on September 16, replacing Ek Hazaron Mein. was launched with a TVT of 8,445; its launch-week average was 6,356 TVT, a huge jump from the TVT of 2,965 recorded by the previous show in the same slot. recorded TVT of 849 among females in the 15-24 age group and 574 for males in the same age group. By comparison, 7 on Colors recorded TVT of 7,711 during the launch episode, while the average TVT for the launch week was 5,080. Also, the show did not lead to as big a jump in the channel's ratings as did for Colors' GVT rose to 479,892 in the week ended September 21 from 463,869 in the previous week, according to TAM data sourced from a general entertainment channel (CS4+, Hindi speaking market, unless mentioned otherwise). The second-highest gainer was Zee, the GVT for which rose from 3,98,993 in the week ended September 14 to 413,707 in the week ended September 21. Media observers say both and 7 have been well received. "I believe in the country is increasing. This is seen from the increase in ratings for STAR and Zee, as almost all shows have gained numbers. People are finding it better to watch rather than go out and spend. has seen a trend of picking up a couple of weeks into the season.

On the other hand, has been appreciated by the audiences and it reflects in the numbers," said a media planner, on condition of anonymity. For Mahabharat, had gone all out in its marketing endeavours. Now, it seems its efforts have paid off. From innovative outdoor hoardings across cities to extensive print campaigns, the channel left no stone unturned in the traditional media. On the on-ground and digital fronts, too, designed initiatives to not only engage, but also intrigue audiences through innovations such as 3D museums and glasstron devices (special glasses would give patrons an on-the-go audio-visual experience of the sets and promos). Nikhil Madhok, senior vice-president (marketing), STAR Plus, said, "We are extremely happy with the grand welcome it has received. There is very encouraging positive feedback pouring in from all quarters. We are now looking at building further from here." According to channel sources and media planners, the feedback from consumers, too, was positive. Gaurav Banerjee, executive vice-president (content strategy), STAR India, says, "The effort was to make the contemporary and I feel this has been the main reason behind the reception the show has received."

First Published: Sat, September 28 2013. 22:33 IST