CHENNAI: There seem to be fewer people spending time in front of the TV, and it’s got those in the industry breaking into a sweat. Quite literally too, as they say power cuts are one of the biggest reasons for a dip in the numbers of television audiences.
The Gross Rating Point (GRP) — which denotes the total number of viewings of a television programme — for TV in Tamil Nadu has gone down from the usual figure of 4,500 to around 3900. “Clearly, the number of people spending time in front of the television has reduced. However, with the power cuts having reduced a bit, we can see slight improvement,” says Aldam Jacob, network head-non-fiction, Sun TV Network Limited.
According to Mala Manian, COO of Raj TV, the power cuts are also affecting advertising revenue generated by television channels. She says that her sales team has to give advertisers bonus time and extra slots because they cannot give them the number of eyeballs promised on account of the power cuts. “We have noticed that the power cut of a couple of hours has a ripple effect,” adds Manian. “For instance, a power cut may be from 4pm to 5pm in an area, but people will end up doing their other work from 5 pm onwards to make up for the time lost due to the power cut and so they won’t really be turning the television on,” she says.
Over at Star Vijay, general manager K Sriram says that power cuts have cut the channel’s viewership by 15 to 20 per cent. As a result, the channel is trying to repackage some of its programs to literally make up for the time lost. “We are running a special highlights package for our show ‘Neengalum Vellalaam Oru Kodi’ over the weekends. It runs for an hour and a half, and replays the best moments from the entire week’s programs for those who missed it,” says Sriram. He adds that the channel had to get permission from the show’s anchor Suriya to show the extra package.