If Ekta Kapoor's decision to introduce a little touch of the 'Dirty Picture' sensuality on Sony's Bade Achche Lagte Hai was to generate fresh audiences for the show, the move has surely bombed, and how!
The consistent 'sensuous' promos of the March 12 episode on Sony (for approximately a week or more) led to an almost universal anticipation that the 'move' would crown Bade Achche Lagte Hai (BALH) as the No. 1 property in the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) space for the given week.
According to TAM, the episode has scored 3.54 TVR, standing at the 11th spot with an average TVR of 3.23 for the given week - suggesting that the protagonists' 'moves' on the show could not push up its TRPs, after all.
In fact, an episodic review of the show suggests that despite the build-up, the show's viewership has remained constant.
Consider this: The TVR for the episode on March 5 (the previous Monday) was 3.3 and the TVR for the following Thursday (March 15) post the love making episode was 2.88. In fact, it's the Thursday episode on March 8 (the episode prior to the one on March 12) that has scored the highest (3.65 TVR).Also, the following episodes in the given week have witnessed a slight dip in ratings. The TVRs of the episodes on March 13, 14 and 15 stand at 3.47, 3.04 and 2.88, respectively.
So, why did such an anticipated hype fail to translate into viewership?
According to Ravishankar N, media partner, Media Planning Associates, the channel failed to gather fresh audiences despite the hype chiefly because the communication was limited to the channel itself.
"It's an opportunity lost to garner fresh eyeballs. If the promo scheduling could have also looked at barter deals with other channels such as UTV Bindass or MTV (viewers who could be targeted with such content), surely it would have generated extra ratings," he avers.
Also, the slight dip in the rating over the previous episode could also suggest that a few viewers may have chosen to not watch it to avoid embarrassment.
"The show is primarily urban-centric. But, there is an impact of the Tier II and Tier III markets, too, on Hindi GEC programming. And, the slight dip may propose the fact that families viewing the show in such markets (if any), chose not to watch it," says a top media executive on conditions of anonymity.
But should such content be telecast on a GEC during primetime?
According to Praveen Tripathi, chief executive officer, Magic9 Media & Consumer Knowledge, the channel programming versus the day-part programming have their own specific constituents and one should not break that component.
"Family primetime viewing has a certain kind of audience and such viewers do not expect spicing up of the genre to such an extent. There has to be a difference between what you hint at and what you can show during primetime so as to avoid embarrassment," he says.