Wednesday is the D-day in
the TV industry as the TRP ratings arrive on this very day every week. Major
decisions on how to take the track forward and which show is to be axed are all
taken on the basis of the ratings. However the TV industry will now take a
sabbatical for two months from getting their weekly report card in the form of
TAM has officially announced that there will be no TRP ratings issued from the current week (Week 41) to 19th December of this year. Come Christmas time and the dreaded TRP report cards will be back again.
Why is this happening? We have heard numerous complaints that the process of calculating TRP is faulty. However with the conversion to digitalization and all Indian homes having set top boxes, TRPs may be calculated precisely. Analog signals of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai will be blacked out from October 31st.
Sukesh Motwani, Fiction Head of Zee TV explains, "There is a lot of confusion on the issue of calculating TRP amongst broadcasters and advertisers. The situation will get sorted when we find the perfect way of measuring TRP. Till we find this way there will be no TRP ratings."
Will no TRP ratings for two months work to the advantage or disadvantage of the Indian TV industry? Ekta Kapoor, Queen of Soaps, updated her Facebook status yesterday, "No ratings from tomorrow itself, the next ratings on 19th December, so let's have peaceful Tuesday nights and happy Wednesdays till then... and we will meet soon, after this short break."
Prashant Bhatt, Head of Fiction of Colors however thinks differently. He updated on Facebook, "I hate the fact that there will be no TRPs till December 19!"
Talented TV writer Raghuvir Shekhawat who is currently writing Balika Vadhu, Diya Aur Baati Hum, Phir Subah Hogi, Kairee - Rishta Khatta Meetha and Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon is unhappy with this. He explains, "My new show Veera will be launched on October 29th on Star Plus. I was very excited about its release but now we won't be able to judge its opening viewers' response. Also last week on Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, RK was shot- that was a crucial sequence that was expected to hike TRP- however there's no way of knowing the results now."
Vivian Dsena who plays RK on Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon seemed to agree with the writer Raghuvir Shekhawat, "We had a heavy sequence on our show last week which simply went down the drain. However I feel that TRP matters more to the producers and show makers rather than to the actors. As an actor I don't really focus all that much on the TRP ratings, what matters to me more is the quality of my work."
Mitali Nag who plays Afsar Bitiya is of the opinion, "When the TRP goes up, it is encouraging and we do feel that we have achieved something. When the TRP goes down, it means that we should work harder. However most people feel that we simply shouldn't bother about TRPs. So I just try to put in my best efforts. No TAM sheets for two months doesn't really affect me."
Rajesh Ranshinge who is currently directing Adaalat and Fear Files says, "I am sad that for two months we will be clueless about the TRP. However in the long run this will help as ultimately we will get the correct figures."
Producer Rajan Shahi (his current shows are Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Amrit Manthan and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge) has a neutral mindset about TAM sheets bidding adieu for two months. He explains, "Everyone from the spot boy to the top actress waits in anticipation for the TRP ratings every Wednesday. We are so used to get that wake-up call with TRP ratings at 6:30am or 7am on Wednesday mornings. Weekly TRP ratings are so much a part of our lives that it will be interesting to see how we do without the ratings. In a way things will be more relaxing without TRP reports. It's like a sword hanging on one's head when you are working under the pressure of TRP. Now people will be able to work with a tension free mind. Good shows are often taken off air when they don't get good TRP. However the most interesting thing about this is what will happen when after two months we suddenly get all the TRP results. What will be the TRP rankings of the shows at that time? How will the two months of not getting TRP affect the overall ratings?"
Though there will be no TAM sheets for two months, you may still check the online popularity of the shows by logging on to india-forums.com. So you won't be completely blank for this period as to which shows are climbing and declining in popularity.
Author and Reporter: Pallavi Bhattacharya