The research was commissioned to study the reason for the drop in ratings and revealed that 9 out of 10 TV viewers wanted a change from the saas-bahu format of the soaps. The study found that three out of five viewers want faster, racier and more progressive programmes with a definite end. Over 50% of respondents expressed confusion in story lines of these serials. Respondents in smaller towns expressed preference for simpler story lines and interestingly they were just as vocal about demanding change as their metro counterparts. In fact 90% of respondents in Moradabad (in UP) expressed the need for change in content as compared to 84% of respondents from Mumbai.
The research, commissioned to understand the psyche of the Hindi serial viewers, stemmed from the hypotheses that viewers were tired and bored with current television content and to find out whether they were looking for a change. The top three demands of TV viewers include progressive stories in line with the present time, fast-paced serials with a definite end and exposure to international locations and cultures. Over 50% respondents confirmed interest in sampling new content and 18% said that they would definitely switch from the current fare. This research should be a wake-up call to all general entertainment channels (GECs) and productions houses that create such content. There is a colossal need to overhaul the current content and to provide viewers with more progressive content, Nikhil Rangnekar, executive director, India - West, Starcom Worldwide said.