Early this month, the three general entertainment channels - Zee TV, Colors and STAR Plus - rolled out dance-based reality shows - Dance India Dance (DID) Li'l Masters, Chak Dhoom Dhoom and Zara Nach Ke Dikha, respectively. Of the three, it is Zee TV's offering, DID Li'l Masters, which has hit bull's eye.
As per TAM data, C&S 4+, HSM, DID Li'l Masters recorded an opening TVR of 6.7. In the opening week, while Chak Dhoom Dhoom Chhote Dancers Badi Jung on Colors recorded a TVR of 4.39; Zara Nach Ke Dikha on STAR Plus recorded a TVR of 2.37.
The ratings are no surprise to media observers, who point out that DID Li'l Masters was expected to be the frontrunner amongst the three offerings.
According to Hema Malik, general manager, Lodestar UM, "Calculated and realistic expectation indicated the success of DID Li'l Masters right from the beginning. Traditionally, for Zee TV, its weekend slot has been the strongest across all genres. It has ruled the 9:30 pm slot with shows such as Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and the original version of DID. The channel owns this slot; hence, its domination is no surprise."
For Colors, on the other hand, the weekend slot of 9:30 pm hasn't exactly been a ratings-grabber, where reality shows are concerned. Before Chak Dhoom Dhoom, the star-studded National Bingo Night, hosted by Abhishek Bachchan, was aired in the same slot. The show failed to live up to its pre-launch hype, and didn't achieve much on the ratings front either.
Malik points out that if your regular audiences know that their high dose of entertainment would continue even after the culmination of one show, they would have no reason to look elsewhere. Thus, the masterstroke of launching DID Li'l Masters, right after the finale of DID, has clearly worked in Zee TV's favour.
Interestingly, both DID Li'l Masters and Chak Dhoom Dhoom are kids-based dance reality shows, following a more or less similar format. Both the shows will witness 16 contestants, fighting for the prize over a period of almost 13 weeks.
Given such similarities, what makes viewers prefer DID Li'l Masters over Chak Dhoom Dhoom?
Rajiv Gopinath, chief operating officer, Madison Platinum, observes, "The weekend prime GRPs of the top three GECs are pretty close to each other. So, this has not, in any way, skewed ratings of one show over the other. It is rather the slot performance, which has influenced the opening weeks' ratings. DID has been an established slot for the last five months; so, it was only natural for the opening of L'il Masters to have a blockbuster TVR. This has steadily dipped from 6.7 to 3.2 in the third week of the launch of the show. On the other hand, Chak Dhoom Dhoom needed huge promotions to get a good initial rating of 4.3."
Gopinath also points out that DID, as a generic brand, has worked well for Zee TV. Because it focuses on the talent of the common person, viewers perceive it as a better representative of talent across the country, in comparison to other shows. The judges have brought a lot of credibility to the format - not only are they seen as experts in their trade; but are perceived to be compassionate and encouraging, seeking to bring out the best in the participants.
On Chak Dhoom Dhoom, on the other hand, it is learnt that in the third week of the show itself, one of the judges, Vindoo Dara Singh, is being replaced.
As far as Zara Nach Ke Dikha on STAR Plus is concerned, media planners do not evaluate it on the same parameters as the other two kids-based reality shows. This is because Zara Nach Ke Dikha has TV actresses and actors as participants; moreover, the format of the show pitches a girls' team against a boys' team.
Interestingly, the first season of Zara Nach Ke Dikha was aired on STAR One. The show has been shifted to the parent GEC, STAR Plus, in the hope of garnering more eyeballs. But has the experiment been successful?
One of the senior media planners from the industry states that the show's ratings during the last season on STAR One were more or less similar to this season's ratings on STAR Plus.
The planner admits that in the short run, it might look lucrative to shift the property on the main GEC to get a higher premium for the offering. However, considering that a revamp of STAR One is on the anvil; it may have been a better choice to continue with the dance reality show on the same channel, as it would boost STAR One's image in the longer run.
To some extent, the media observer's argument finds support in the TAM ratings of the last edition of Zara Nach Ke Dikha on STAR One. Last year, as per TAM data, C&S 4+, HSM (July 14 to September 28), the show on STAR One got a highest TVR of 2.21. The grand finale of the dance reality show fetched the channel a TVR of 1.95.
Gopinath of Madison Platinum argues otherwise; and cites TAM data on Zara Nach Ke Dikha on STAR One to prove his point. According to him, the show garnered a cumulative reach of 33 million viewers. That is 50 per cent of what a typical show on STAR Plus does. One has seen a 100 per cent lift in ratings on the STAR Plus platform, he says.