The suspension of the week-on-week TV viewership data for two months is going to affect the general entertainment channel (GEC) genre as most of the channels have their big-ticket reality and non-fiction shows on air.
The maximum impact will be on Colors as the channel launched its biggest reality show – Bigg Boss – on October 7, and today the debut ratings were to be released by the TV viewership ratings agency TAM Media Research. The channel is also airing another non-fiction show - India's Got Talent.
Other high visibility shows currently on-air are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa (Zee TV) and Kaun Banega Crorepati (Sony Entertainment Television).
The ratings help broadcasters plan the programming and advertisers to bargain on the ad rates.
But now, with no TV ratings for two months, advertisers and media planners will have no data to substantiate their spends. Similarly, the programming team will not have the TV rating points (TRPs) to decide which track to follow on a particular show.
“It will be interesting to see what programming strategy channels will follow as the programming teams will have to follow their gut feeling. Even the ad agencies will have to think cautiously before spending as there will not be any criteria to judge the performance of any show,” a senior media buyer said.
The Hindi GEC genre takes the lion's share of the TV advertising pie. The genre also has the toughest competition with Star Plus maintaining the lead while other three – Colors, Sony and Zee TV – competing neck and neck. If we take the average ratings of the last four weeks, Star Plus leads with with 261 GRPs (gross rating points), followed by Colors with 233 GRPs, Zee TV with 231 GRPs and Sony with 217 GRPs.
With a gap so thin, one show can give an edge to any on the four channels, which Colors might have been hoping with Bigg Boss. But now, the channel, advertisers and viewers will have to wait.
TAM will release the data on December 19 as broadcasters and advertisers have asked the ratings agency to defer the ratings in the wake of the mandatory switchover from analogue to digital addressable systems (DAS) in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.