JD Majethia: 20 per cent of viewers have not returned to television
Over a month into TV shows airing fresh content, IFTPC member-producer Majethia says the audience has "moved on" to OTT platforms, news channels post the lockdown.
With film and TV shoots suspended during the first three months of the lockdown, the audience had turned their attention to OTT platforms for their daily dose of entertainment. News channels also witnessed a sharp spike in viewership as people kept abreast of the latest developments amid the pandemic. It marked a shift in the entertainment consumption pattern of the population that had considered daily soaps their primary source of entertainment for long. However, the true impact of the shift can only be gauged now as serials and reality shows have returned to the tube in the past six weeks.
Stills from Bhakarwadi
JD Majethia, chairman, Indian Film and TV Producers' Council (IFTPC), TV and web wing, says television viewership has dipped post-lockdown. "Almost 20 per cent of our viewers have not returned to television. The TRP of my show Bhakarwadi was 0.7 in March, now it stands at 0.4. Similarly, shows like Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya and Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah have not been able to match their original ratings. The dip in the numbers will continue for some time as the Indian Premier League will begin soon. Several shows may go off air or will be replaced," he explains.
While streaming giants have become a worthy rival, Majethia states that news has emerged an unlikely competitor. "The audience is glued to OTT, movies and news. They have not been able to connect with daily shows. Plus, due to the ongoing Sushant [Singh Rajput] case, primetime news has become like a one-hour maha episode that the entire nation is watching," he says.
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