Endemol India’s celebrity show Bigg Boss season 8 has done what everyone at Colors hoped it would – propel the flagship general entertainment channel (GEC) from the Viacom18 bouquet to the No 2 spot on the ratings chart. The show, hosted for the fourth year in a row by actor Salman Khan, launched with a viewership of 7.6 million on September 21, and helped the GEC add 19 million viewers over the previous week to end with gross viewership of 431 million. Last season's debut episode was rated marginally higher at 7.7 million. The weekday ratings, however, sustained Monday through Friday to average at 4.3 million viewers, while the Saturday episode was seen by 3.6 million viewers across India. The three-hour launch episode included an introduction to this season’s theme, which is around aviation and air travel, and the contestants of this edition. The show airs on the weekdays from 9 pm to 10 pm and has special episodes featuring Khan on the weekends. Raj Nayak, CEO of Colors, said: “We are really happy that this season of Bigg Boss is doing well as the team at Colors and Endemol have put in a lot of work to put this show together. The logistics are huge and from planning till the launch, it takes almost six months of preparation. We hope our viewers continue to like the show and help us make it bigger and better so that our advertisers and sponsors on the show get their bang for the buck.” In taking the second spot on the ratings chart, Colors has dethroned ZEE Entertainment Enterprises’ GEC, ZEE TV, (427 gross viewership in million). Star Plus continued to take the top spot at 593 million viewers and Life OK retained the No 4 spot with 307 million viewers. Multi Screen Media’s (MSM)’s SAB TV and Sony Entertainment Television also stayed put at their previous week positions – number five and six, respectively.
Among the top shows, STAR Plus’ Diya Aur Baati Hum once again took top honours with viewership of 8.1 million, followed by ZEE TV’s Jodha Akbar (7.8 million) and Kumkum Bhagya (7.2 million). Bigg Boss, which spans over three months features 15 celebrities from different fields confined in a house under 24-hour surveillance. Over the course of the show, the contestant have to carry out different tasks that calls for skills, co-operation and patience. Every week, the ‘house-mates’ nominate each other for eviction and ultimately, their fate is decided by the viewers, who vote in to save the contestants who they feel deserve to be in the house a little longer. The show is the Indian adaptation of Endemol India’s Dutch parent company (Endemol)’s show called Big Brother. This year’s Bigg Boss is among the costliest shows ever on Indian television, with cost pegged at Rs 140-150 crore. It could also be the first year that a property of such magnitude could break even. Sources close to the show reveal that the broadcaster is charging Rs 3.5-4 lakh for a 10-second slot. Sony Entertainment Television's fiction show, Yudh, which premiered in July and starred Amitabh Bachchan, held the record in the daily entertainment space, with spot rates of Rs 3 lakh for 10 seconds. Bigg Boss’ sponsorships are also among the highest in the industry. E-commerce player Snapdeal has forked out Rs 35 crore for this season, much more than the Rs 25-crore telecom operator Vodafone had paid for the show last year.
The channel's five-year contract with Vodafone for presenting sponsorshipended this year. It has other sponsors like powered by sponsor OppoMobile (Rs 22 crore), car sponsor Maruti (Rs 8 to 10 crore) and TVSMotors (Rs 8 to 10 crore).