After the success of Dabangg, Bollywood star Salman Khan seems to have hit off well with audiences on the silver screen, with the debut episode of Bigg Boss 4, anchored by Khan, scoring higher ratings than season 3, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.
According to data available with aMap, a television viewership monitoring agency, the opening episode of Bigg Boss 4 on Colors got a rating of 3.6. Season 3 had got an average rating of 2.43. Bigg Boss 1 and Bigg Boss 2 had average ratings of 1.96 and 2.03, respectively. While Bigg Boss 1 was anchored by Arshad Warsi, Shilpa Shetty hosted Bigg Boss 2. The ratings represent the percentage of a TV audience sample that watched a programme for a stipulated time period.
The ratings are interesting as Bachchan had drawn record numbers while hosting the first and second season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on Star Plus. During the first season in 2000, KBC clocked a TVR (TV ratings) of 14.1 — a feat that has not been repeated on Indian television, not even in the subsequent editions of the show. According to TAM data, while the second edition registered an average TVR of 11.1, the third season, with Shah Rukh Khan as host, recorded an average of 6.8. Salman Khan in his two editions of Dus ka Dum on Sony Entertainment Television had fared poorly, with ratings of 2.35 and 1.96, respectively.
However, it remains to be seen whether viewership numbers are impacted when Bachchan comes back with KBC 4 on Sony from next week. The competition is set to further intensify when Star Plus enters the race with Akshay Kumar-hosted Master Chef from October 16.
The three shows are expected to rake in as much as Rs 270 crore in advertising revenues this season, one tenth of what is normally made by general entertainment channels a year. Industry sources said a 10-second ad slot had been sold for about Rs 3.5 lakh for KBC 4 and Colors and Star Plus were charging similar price for their shows. “There is a lot of money riding on these shows, so it is important that the viewership recorded in the initial episodes stand good,” a media planner said on condition of anonymity. The viewership may not be fragmented as the shows are aired on different slots.