28 February, 2021

Bubble Trouble

Everyone's tiring of 'K'. Niche and news are devouring the entertainment pie.

Bubble Trouble
Something unusual is happening on the telly these days. Small-screen daughters-in-law are facing stiff competition from newshounds. No wonder Smriti Irani, Tulsi on TV, is creating more waves on news channels as BJP rebel than as bahu in the once universally popular Star Plus soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Mass entertainment channels heavily loaded with family soaps are taking a beating while news channels are on an upswing. The viewership of entertainment channels has fallen by 9 per cent in the last two years; so has their share of the TV ad pie from 57 per cent in 2002 to 47 per cent in 2004. Even the reigning Hindi entertainment channel Star Plus has seen its overall share drop this year in the metros (see table).

Some call it a blip, others see it as a correction while still others believe it's a sign of a maturing TV industry. Says L.V. Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, "While the overall viewership pie is growing annually at 6-10 per cent, mass entertainment channels have not been able to keep pace or even maintain shares." This is largely because...

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