Television: T20 won't steal the show..


Mumbai, April 8 -- When the first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was aired on national TV in 2008, its soaring TRPs stole the limelight from several TV shows, and left them starved of good ratings.

Since then, for almost four years, a rating battle ensued between the Twenty20 cricket tournament and the makers of these shows. However, now, things seem to have changed to a great extent.

Producer Rashmi Sharma feels that the impact that T20 cricket had on the content of general entertainment channels has reduced drastically. "As far as my shows are concerned, the match timings don't really clash. Post 9 pm, the (IPL) might affect some shows, but only if popular cricketers are playing in those matches," says Rashmi.

Back in the day Eight years ago, when the IPL actually posed a threat to TV, entertainment channels would work hard to come up with strategies to keep the audience hooked. While some would add new twists to the show's plot, others would introduce special characters, and so on. There would be no new show launches during the tournament either.

But this year, it has become clear that this paranoia has almost faded altogether. No longer does one hear of makers planning special moves to counter the IPL buzz.

"It's not even a topic of discussion anymore because there has hardly been any considerable change in the shows' ratings in the last couple of seasons," says a source.

Producer Rajan Shahi agrees. "Nothing is done to counter the IPL anymore. The stories of the serials flow as they did; we don't bring about any changes," says Rajan, adding, "I think the IPL is more like a reality show. It is a well-orchestrated tamasha. People watch it like they would watch WWF, just for fun (for a few days)."