Variety

Bigg Boss to lock horns with IPL for viewership

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on October 03, 2020 Published on October 03, 2020

Organisers are optimistic that viewership for both Tamil and Hindi formats will be better than previous years’

The 14th season of the popular Hindi reality show Bigg Boss, hosted by Salman Khan, is all set for a grand premiere at 9 pm on Saturday. The fourth season of Bigg Boss Tamil, anchored by actor-politician Kamal Haasan, will also hit the small screen on Sunday.

The promotional videos of the show sneak peak of the Bigg Boss house, hype around the theme for this year and gossips about the prospective celebrity contestants have already created a strong buzz in various social media platforms.

While the reality show will lock horns with IPL for the first time to grab the eyeballs of viewers, the show organisers feel no threat to its viewership due to the limited format cricket and, in fact, are optimistic that the viewership numbers of both Tamil and Hindi formats will be better than previous years.

“IPL is big right now, people are suddenly getting to see this tournament back after a long time, so the numbers on viewership is very high already,” Abhishek Rege, CEO of Endemol Shine India, which produces Bigg Boss, said, adding, “When it comes to Bigg Boss, you have to remember that there is a difference between viewership and linear TV ratings.”

Endemol Shine India, a joint venture between Endemol Shine group and CA Media, is a major player in the Indian non-scripted entertainment business which includes reality shows, game shows, music and dance, and quiz shows. Some of its popular shows also include So You think You Can Dance India, Master Chef India and India’s Next Superstar.

Rege explained that linear TV ratings (TRP) is all about that one-and-a-half hours of prime-time consumption everyday, while the overall viewership would include the repeat slots, downloads on digital video recorder (DVRs), besides a chunk of catch up watching that happens on VOD platforms.

‘Both will coexist’

IPL, which is traditionally hosted during March-May period was postponed to September this year due to the pandemic.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the opening match of IPL 2020 has witnessed a highest-ever viewership of 20-crore people. In its latest report, BARC-Nielsen said a total of 269 million viewers watched IPL in its opening week, which is 11 million more viewers per match compared to 2019.

“I think people will choose different times to watch different stuff, but they will consume everything. Both will completely coexist. We expect a large number of people to watch IPL and also consume Bigg Boss live on Voot in Hindi and on Hotstar for Tamil and Telugu,” Rege added. The fourth edition of Bigg Boss Telugu was premiered on September 6 on Star Maa and Disney+ Hotstar, with Akkineni Nagarjuna continuing as the host for the second time.

With the pandemic showing no signs of abating and strict central and state government SOPs for social distancing and shootings in place, the producers have also taken elaborate measures to ensure the safety of the contestants.

While the Hindi format typically releases during the same time, the Telugu and Tamil shows have also coincided with Diwali and Navratri, a peak festival season, which is also expected to attract a good amount of sponsorship and interest from advertisers.

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Published on October 03, 2020
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