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Sony rides to 8-year high with 3 Idiots
The 'All izz Well' message from 3 Idiots, Bollywood's biggest blockbuster at the box office, seems to have rubbed off on Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Sony Entertainment Television as well.

The Aamir Khan movie took Sony to an eight-year high as it grabbed 270 GRPs for the week ended 31 July, gaining a mammoth 108 points from the trailing week, and moved to the third rank in the Hindi GEC ratings game.

3 Idiots clocked an average TVR of 10.9, a record rating for any movie over eight years, as it raced past popular soaps to become the top-rated show across the GEC space for the week. The closest rival, Pavitra Rishta, earned 5.7 TVR, a glaring gap that is rare in today's highly competitive and fragmented GEC space.
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3 Idiots has earned 91.7 GRPs, accounting for 34 per cent of Sony's overall tally in the week.

"It (270 GRPs) is an eight-year high for Sony. The best part is that our six prime time shows have grown. The shows have rallied around the big event of 3 Idiots," says Sony Entertainment Television business head Ajit Thakur.

Sony's flagship show CID fetched an average TVR of 3.6 for the week (2.6 TVR in the trailing week), mopping up 84 GRPs, or 31 per cent of Sony's week's tally.

Indian Idol-5 (Mon-Thur 9 pm) has averaged 2.4 TVR (1.9 TVR) for the week while Comedy Circus Ke Superstar (Fri-Sat 9 pm) is at 2.7 TVR (2.5 TVR). The weekday half-hour strip of Aahat-4 (Mon-Thu 10.30 pm) averaged 1.0 TVR (1.1 TVR previous week), its weekend one-hour biweekly episodes (Fri-Sat 11pm) averaged 1.1 TVR (1 TVR previous week).

Sony's spike in ratings has come after a long hard battle to rebuild the channel that saw 200 GRPs way back in 2005. A programming overhaul, introduction of YRF properties and revival of old properties like CID began to pay dividends as the channel moved up from 80 GRPs to 180 GRPs in a year's time. The channel hovered around the 150-GRP range as it planned for its next phase of growth.

So will Sony be able to sustain the GRP spike?

"We know that we got a huge spike from 3 Idiots. But the general trend is positive. We are building up the Indian Idol finale week from Monday to Sunday. The event will take place on 15 August. The Boogie Woogie finale is also coming. We will also get back the new season of Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Karega, beginning 16 August. And then we have KBC coming up," says Thakur.

Some media agency executives believe the spike in Sony's GRPs to 270 is driven mainly by 3 Idiots.

Says Zenith Optimedia Sr VP Navin Khemka, "The spike is based on an event. And until KBC is able to do to Sony what it did to Star Plus, the channel will stabilise to its old numbers."

So will the top three battle now expand to top four? Says Lintas Media group associate VP Radhika, "It is too pre mature to deduct anything right now. No conclusions can be drawn until a 2-3 week wait."

Meanwhile, GEC leader Star Plus has seen a 42 GRP (365 GRPs) increase over last week. The growth has come from weekend original programming, weekday primetime, weekend movies and weekday afternoon.

Second in command, Colors has dropped by 23 GRPs (289 GRPs) over the previous week. The fall primarily came from weekday primetime (-9 points) and weekend original (-19 points).

Zee TV slipped to the fourth position but its GRPs remained stable at 227, according to Tam data.

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