News Corp.-owned Star Plus, which reigned on top of the GEC ratings chart undisputed for nearly a decade, has now slipped to the third position, not only beaten by new entrant Colors, but also by decade-old rival Zee TV, which has been playing catch up with Star Plus for several years now, with little success. According to data from television audience research firm TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, for the week ended 30 May, Star Plus had 240 GRPs, trailing Zee, with 245 GRPs and Colors, with 258 GRPs (click chart to enlarge).
General entetainment is a highly lucrative and competitive segment with a 26% viewership share of the total TV watching universe. While Star Plus, Zee and Sony (NYSE: SNE) had settled at the top 3 positions since mid-nineties, a slew of new entrants last year has upset the applecart. Colors, a Viacom-TV18 joint venture, has consolidated at the No. 1 position, while NDTV Imagine seem to be gaining strength at No.4, pushing Sony to the fifth position. Despite doing a highly-publicized relaunch post-IPL with a new line up of shows, Sony could not dislodge NDTV Imagine this week, but gained 19 GRPs.
All the new entrants haven’t done well for themselves, however. 9X, a GEC launched in 2007 with the backing of a clutch of private equity investors, including Singapore government’s Temasek, has dropped to the 11th position, in a 12-channel ranking. Real, launched earlier this year by a JV between Turner Broadcasting and Alva Brothers Entertainment, is at the bottom of the heap, with a 1% share of the GEC genre.
Star Plus has three shows among the 10 highest rated shows on TV–Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai at No.1, Bidaai at No.2 and Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat at No.10. Interestingly, none of them are from Star’s long-time partner Balaji Telefilms. Till a few years ago, when all was well between Star Plus and Balaji, the so-called K-serials used to completely dominate the top 10 shows. Here’s a list of the top 10 shows.
A request for comment to a Star spokesperson was not returned at the time of writing.