Sapna Nair

Bigg Boss following closely in Big Brother’s footsteps

The much-hyped reality soap, ‘Bigg Boss’, by Sony Entertainment Television didn’t get off to a roaring start, but is gradually getting viewers curious, says data

Twelve people, who don’t know each other, live together for 100 days in a house away from the hustle bustle of everyday life under the vigilance of ‘Big Brother’. What’s more? The contestants are devoid of all sorts of communication or entertainment from the outside world. This, in over 50 countries, is a remarkably successful show.

In India, however, Endemol and Sony Entertainment Television added a zing to the script by roping in somewhat known celebrities from films and TV to kickstart the first Indian rendition of ‘Big Brother’, and rechristened it ‘Bigg Boss’.

‘Bigg Boss’ launched in India with great fanfare and was touted to be the best ever reality soap to hit television. On the day of the launch, November 3, according to TAM Media Research findings in C&S 4+ HSM, the show recorded a TVR of 2.89.

The figures for Mumbai and Delhi were even better. In Mumbai, specifically, it recorded a rating of 4.15, while in Delhi alone it was 3.78.

The show apparently was more popular among the C&S, 15+ audiences in Mumbai and Delhi. According to data, the show got considerable viewership of 4.86 in Mumbai on the opening day, while in Delhi it recorded 4.17. The highest TVR recorded in Mumbai and Delhi over the week was 5.16 and 6.95, respectively.

Media planners are of the opinion that these numbers are good enough for Sony Entertainment Television, which hasn’t witnessed spectacular ratings in some time, except ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ that got a rating of 2.86.

Bigg Boss following closely in Big Brother’s footsteps
Anita Nayyar
“The ratings are good and make a point,” says Anita Nayyar, managing director, North India and Pakistan, Starcom. She believes that the rating Sony has garnered reinforce the fact that good content is what drives viewership.

Praveen Tripathi, CEO, Media Direction, finds the show intriguing. “There’s a certain mystery element about the show. One will be keen to find out the following day’s happenings”, he says, highlighting the probable viewer behaviour pattern.

Offering a completely different perspective is Divya Radhakrishnan, vice-president, The Media Edge, who does not perceive these numbers as satisfactory. “Considering the kind of investments Sony has made, the returns have to be better”, she asserts.

Meanwhile, Albert Almeida, business head, Sony Entertainment Television, is undeterred by either of these factors. He offers an optimistic view about the performance of the show. “The figures and the response to the show have been extremely encouraging”, he claims.

Radhakrishnan further points out that the list of celebrities is not well-known. “There isn’t really a celebrity on the show”, she says when asked if the celebrity factor should have got it more viewership.

Supporting her opinion is Tripathi. “Of course the ratings would have been much better, had there been better known celebrities, because there are committed viewers for certain celebrities which would have boosted the TVRs”, he explains.

Countering the hullabaloo about the list of celebrities, Almeida says, “All those who have been speculating about the celebrities involved in the show, and had written the show off even before its launch, have been silenced.”

According to him, the list of sponsors queuing up for the show substantiates that and speaks of the confidence they have in the content.

The tremendous word of mouth, promotions and the media coverage the show was subjected to aroused a certain interest level among viewers, as suggested by the TVRs that followed the week of launch (Week 45). In that week, it managed to maintain a steady 2.9 rating in C&S 4+ HSM. While in Mumbai the number rose to 5.24, in Delhi market the TVR was 3.53 on the same parameter.

The same phenomenon was observed in the C&S 15+ Mumbai and Delhi markets, on the whole recording an increasing trend. Whether the trend disappears or strengthens only the boss, that’s the viewer, will decide.

© 2006 agencyfaqs!