Indo-Pak cricket hits soaps for a six

By , agencyfaqs! | In | April 06, 2004
The final one-day international between India and Pakistan topped the TVR chart for the week March 21-28, pushing the popular saas-bahu soaps down the order

In a cricket-crazed country like ours, there really is nothing above the game. And if one still needs proof of the average Indian's obsession with cricket, the last two published TAM scores furnish conclusive evidence. For even the redoubtable saas-bahu epics that regularly top the popularity charts have once again made way for the recently concluded Indo-Pak one-day series, which was beamed across the nation on Ten Sports and DD.

While in the week March 7-13 the telecast of the first one-day fixture between India and Pakistan on Ten Sports scaled the 14th position in the TAM TVR scores, the following week (March 14-20) proved even better for cricket, with the second one-day match (telecast on Ten Sports) attaining the sixth position with a TVR score of 10.7. The match telecast on DD1 was among the top 10 programmes that week, with a TVR of 10. As a result, on March 16 (the day of the second one-day match), there was a significant difference in the TVR scores of the popular soaps. While the TVR score of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (which incidentally topped the list the for the week with a score of 12 on March 17) was just 9.5, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki was worse affected, managing a TVR score of just 4.1. Kehta Hai Dil, which had a TVR of 7.7 in the previous week, could only manage a TVR of 3.1, while Kasautii Zindagii Kay - which had a TVR of 10.5 and 10.7 on March 15 and 17, respectively - achieved a TVR score of 5.7 on March 16.

Hiren Pandit, general manager, MindShare, says, "A cricket match brings in an instant change in the behavioral pattern of the viewers. And it happens in such a way that while India is batting or appears to be winning, the TVRs go up, and if India is appears to be losing, the TVRs go down." However, on March 16, the TVR score of the match was quite high, despite India eventually ending up as the losing side. Pandit sites a reason: "The second one-day match had a very close finish and the excitement existed till the last few overs, and that glued viewers to their television sets."

Naturally, the final one-day international between India and Pakistan has fared exceptionally well on the TVR chart for the week March 21-28, pipping 'Kyunki…' and 'Kahaani…' to the top position. (Interestingly, the last time the saas-bahu soaps surrendered their pole positions on the TVR chart was at the time of Cricket World Cup 2003). The Ten Sports telecast of the finals tops the weekly chart with a score of 12.1, and marginally behind (with a TVR score of 12) is the DD1 telecast of the same match. The involvement that this match commanded among television audiences was such that even a related short-duration programme such as Straight Drive climbed to the sixth position! It must be added that Straight Drive was just one among the top 50 programmes in the preceding week. Although on March 25 (the day after the finals), 'Kyunki…' and 'Kahaani…' scored weekly highs of 11.7 and 11.4 respectively, on the day of the finals, the dwarfed TVR scores of the two programmes stood at 7.7 ('Kyunki…') and 4.3 ('Kahaan managed a score of 7.5 in the previous week, had to settle for a TVR of 2.5 on the day of the finals.

Sandeep Tarkas, president, Media Planning Group (South Asia), says, "I expected the TVR scores of the final match to be the same as that of the World Cup matches, but nevertheless, it still was quite impressive as it beat the daily soaps." He further adds, "Cricket always has a better impact than the other programmes, and if it is an India-versus-Pakistan match, it obviously scores higher than India playing with other country. The finals being a day-and-night affair also affected the TVRs, as most of the male members could reach home during the telecast, unlike on March 13, which was a day match," he adds. One factor that boosts cricket viewership is the fact that while on a regular day the female member of the household gets the priority to choose programmes, on match days, it's the male members who control the remote.

Also, although at times a cricket telecast might not directly compete with the daily soaps, it still affects viewership of those programmes being aired after the match gets over. As Tarkas puts it, "People do get bored with watching television for the whole day and prefer to stay away from the idiot box for some time. This affects the programmes that are telecast even in the after-match slot."

Be that as it may, the fact remains that for now, cricket is the sole challenger to kitchen politics. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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