Bindass' new property Yeh Hai Aashiqui (YHA) that features real life unique love stories from the length and breadth of the country has helped the channel to beef up its Sunday evening slot. The youth general entertainment channel had launched the show with true romantic stories on August 25 (Week 35). The slot GVTs (gross viewership in thousands) stayed at about 33 GVTs (considering Weeks 20-34) on an average before the launch of the show.
YHA debuted with 31 GVTs and the slot average till now has stood at 97 GVTs. The show has completed 23 episodes and will be carried forward, considering its performance.
The show is competing with MTV Webbed (on MTV) and Gumrah Season 3 (on Channel V). MTV's slot ratings (7-8 pm, Sunday) have dropped from 55 GVTs (average of Weeks 20-34) to 22 GVTs (average of Weeks 35-49). Meanwhile, Channel V wasn't hurt much, with the ratings changing from 69 GVTs (average of Weeks 20-34) to 62 GVTs (average of Weeks 35-49).
The reason for the success, as stated by Shalini Sethi, director, programming, Bindass is that love stories are universal. She adds, "We knew our viewers wanted to see love stories and romance. Moreover, fighting to get your love has a strong connect. Programming has lots to do with instinct, apart from research. We understand that love stories are the biggest hits on television in any part of the world. If you tell a love story well, you can't go wrong. It can take over everything else. But, you must get it right."
The channel claims to have done a lot of research and given a lot of importance to understanding the kind of stories needed for the brand and the viewers. Though Bindass claims that the show has widened the audience segment for it, the numbers suggest that the proportion of 15-24 and 25+ audience segments have remained largely the same.
Most homes in India are single TV households; thus, the prime-times for different genres are necessarily kept separate. As opposed to a general entertainment channel (GEC), 7 pm is the peak primetime for a youth entertainment channel. Although Beg Borrow Steal was a successful show for the channel, it attempted to widen the audience base with YHA. The show was launched on the Sunday 7pm slot, replacing the reality travel show, Beg Borrow Steal. Sethi says, "I think the slot works really well for us. We've had Superdude and Emotional Atyachaar on the same slots earlier and both the shows have performed well."
The show has also gained a lot of traction online. The first episode of the show (uploaded on August, 25) gained 2,86,692 views as on December, 28. On an average, all the episodes have gained over a lakh views within 10 days of being uploaded. Sethi explains, "It's done well online because over the years our target audience is shifting to the new medium or consuming the two media together. Also, availability of the content at their disposal is another positive thing."
She adds that she is very confident that it will never pull back the TV ratings. "In India, traditional TV viewing is a huge entertainer. It is still single TV households and it is the cheapest and the biggest entertaining medium that people wouldn't give away anytime soon."