It's all happening in the subcontinent. With the ICC Cricket World Cup
, 2011 beginning with a bang, the viewers are glued to the telly to catch every single exciting moment of the Cricket extravaganza .
When a game which has a frenzied fan following brings together the best teams in the world — action on and off the field is bound to happen. If initial figures are to be taken into account, the (general entertainment channels) GECs will soon break into sweat.
On an overdrive:
opening match scored a massive lead in top six metros. Today's game against England too will see a similar leap in ratings. According to the aMap data, the peak ratings of the inaugural match touched 4.0 in the six metros. If the opening match ratings are any indicator, the soaps are set to lose out to Team India in the TRP race. However, the GECs are prepared for a tough fight. "We are planning dramatic high points in our shows to maintain maximum time spent since reach will definitely be affected to a great extent," says Saurabh Tewari of Imagine TV.
With many pressing the panic button, the pressure is clearly on the producers to deliver. "India will play six league matches, out of which three are with Netherlands, Ireland and Bangladesh. The remaining two are on weekends, so effectively you have five to six matches that may affect us partially till India reaches the finals. Some of them are also day matches so they will not clash with us," explains producer Yash Patnaik of "Rang Badalti Odhani". "Anyways, during this period we will have more than 38 episodes to telecast. Not much to worry actually. Having said that, the audience will witness some big high points in the show during this time," says Yash as he spells out the strategy.
of Star Plus swears by the newly launched shows on the weekend band to counter the cricket threat. "The channel has recently launched three new shows for the weekend slot. Ranging from a sitcom "Pyar Mein Twist" to a reality show, "Wife Bina Life". Also we have launched a show conceptualized by Imtiaz Ali, "Love U Zindagi". So, it seems unlikely that our viewers would enjoy our shows any less over the weekends even when countered by the WC matches."
Not a threat:
While the GECs are silently planning their counter-attack, they are also quick to dismiss the game as 'no real threat'. "The existence of any competition between the legendary game and a GEC's show doesn't hold true. As far as the viewership is concerned, past data clearly shows that even during the time of IPL there was an increase in viewership by 10 per cent. The threat imposed by an IPL or a World Cup to our GEC channel doesn't hold true in our case," says Vasudev. Nikhil Gandhi
of UTV explains that the course of action will be detrimental to the team's performance in the World Cup. "The India matches are important as they get maximum eyeballs. What matters most is how India performs. If they do well, it will have a big impact. Plus a day and night game featuring India will have an impact as well."
Many producers are however banking on the fact that the sport may be male dominated but the remote will be wielded by the women. "Daily soaps have become an integral part of the family in India and women control the remote and they love watching dailies," says producer Rajan Shahi.
"Audiences have a daily viewing habit that's difficult to break. I believe there is enough space to co-exist. Cricket doesn't take away the hardcore soap opera viewers," explains creative director and producer Siddharth Tewary. "The strategy for me is to go with the flow. I don't believe in weekly high points just to grab attention. I would go with the natural story progression and not tamper with the story just for weekly spikes. I would stick to the storyline than be reactive."
Meanwhile, others too are banking heavily on the loyalty factor. "Since our channel has a lot of youth centric shows, we plan to have shows in sync with the world cup to cater to all," says Gandhi. "We will increase overall ground level marketing activities to maintain hype around the shows. Also in the case of World Cup a lot depends on India's performance. If India continues winning then there is no harm in shows suffering a bit. After all the World Cup comes once in four years," sums up Saurabh.
Read more: Cricket vs daily soaps - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/tv-/Cricket-vs-daily-soaps/articleshow/7581069.cms#ixzz1F5n5UrOK