Joined: 17 July 2012
With TRP ratings back after a gap of two months, producers and channel honchos are busy studying the impact of new numbers which include digitized data from four metros viz Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
In this context, we spoke to producer JD Majethia of Hats Off Productions and asked him on what the new numbers portend for the small screen industry. Read onů
Are you happy with the new number system?
The evaluation mantra has definitely become better. For, apart from depending on meters in pan-India, they are now using digitized data in the four metros (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai) where analogue signals were shut down on 1 November. Also the new numbers have been reassuring in the sense that there has been no major upheaval. It is not some totally non-performing show till date, has suddenly become numero uno. But yes, Zee has taken a bit of a beating.
Will this system be a game changer for TV?
The real thing might happen in March 2013 when digitization will be extended to tier 2 tier 3 cities in principal the GEC markets (Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh etc). The current round of digitization has only impacted Mumbai and Delhi in GEC calculations. Chennai and Kolkata are no big players in the Hindi GEC space. But yes, the digitization wave has already started to impact regional language channels, the number of like Star Jalsha have crossed 500 GRPs. Also, as it always happens in any phase-wise change, anomalies of Phase 1 will be rectified in Phase 2. So it will be more scientific and better analyzed than the current tranche of data. Certain Phase 1 processes have not been fully transparent, may be due to ignorance.
Can we see wholesale changes in FPC?
The channels will take some time to crunch all the data and take calls on non-performing assets. But we can't expect big ticket chucking of shows as they also need ready content to replace old properties. Plus, nobody would want to compete with IPL which will kick off in April next year. And by the time the above annual T 20 extravaganza gets over, the data from the second phase will be out as well. So, expect fireworks but only towards the latter part of next year.
Hence, in this evolving scenario, we have slowed down our pitching programme. We will wait for the next 10/15 days to see to what kind of content is in before contacting channel honchos again.
How are your shows doing?
R. K. Laxman Ki Duniya is doing very good at 0.7 in the 7.30 pm slot. Earlier, this slot would not throw up numbers of more than 0.5 TVR. Even the 8 pm show never delivers more than 0.5. This higher number for the common man show is good news for a number of competitors like Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke and Sasural Simar Ka, the TRP of which have also gone up to 3.5 to 4 respectively. R K Laxman at its peak was doing 1.2 to 1.3, and we are reaching the same numbers if we add up our 11 pm slot TRP.
However having said that, from a business point of view, this SAB TV show can't sustain for long with a rating of less than 1 TVR. We will try to analyze the current data and try to work some changes in the coming one month and hope that things get better.
After ruling fiction space for years, can we see Hats Off making a foray in the reality space as well?
We had pitched a couple of non-fiction formats to a few channels but it did not work out. The current market dynamic is such that fixed formats like Jhalak, Nach and Indian Idol etc continue to dominate. Channels are hesitant to play around with newer ideas as they are very expensive. Their fear is also justified e.g. Survivor India did not click with the viewers, right!
Has content become less serious?
I agree that there has been an overkill of heavy duty drama. There is also an audience which wants light hearted stuff which we cater to (Alaxmi). But having said that, we have done Shree and Behenein etc which were of the above genre but that was the requirement of the narrative.
What kind of content would you like to produce in the near future?
If given a chance, I would like to make shows appealing to SEC A SEC B audiences in metros. This is not the case today where we appeal only to the lowest common denominator in the hinterland. Hence, I can't make shows which appeal to literate classes. Therefore, you don't get a Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.
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