A special report on &TV UK's recent ratings decline

Touted as one of the ‘Big 5’ Asian TV channels in the UK, &TV has fast become one of the most watched entertainment channels in the UK.

In two years of its existence, &TV UK with its vast range of original shows, equipped with blockbuster movie premieres and events, has given the broadcaster an edge over its rivals. With the explosion of new entertainment channels for both the Indian and Pakistani diaspora, &TV has been able to stay strong with its loyal audience.

With original shows being broadcast between 18:00 – 23:00 during weekday evenings and a matinee movie prior to that, &TV UK has successfully extended its original shows during primetime, to the three hours it had previously. Its weekend schedule differs with two movies between midday and 19:00, fused with repeat telecasts in-between. Its original weekend programming commences at 19:30 until 22:30. With no weekend reality show currently being aired, the channel is relying on its popular weekday shows over a seven day period.

While most UK Asian channels have hit a stumbling block recently in ratings, BizAsiaLive.com took a closer look at &TV UK ratings over the first three months of 2017. The biggest change &TV has made recently is doing away with a reality show, which has been fixed feature in its weekend schedule between 20:00 and 21:30. Its a known fact that reality TV shows garners a healthy viewership over fictions at weekends. &TV’s decision to temporary rest its weekend reality TV show format, has proved disappointing in ratings since the move. Here’s a look back:

Saturday 7th January
‘The Voice India’ repeat telecast at 22:30 was the most watched show on the channel with 20,100 viewers, followed by ‘Hoshiyaar’ with 17,800 viewers and the original telecast of ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 was next with 14,200 viewers.

Sunday 8th January
The Hindi feature film at 15:30 was biggest draw with 39,000 viewers, followed by ‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 with 15,900 viewers and ‘The Voice India’ at 22:30 with 12,800 viewers (original telecast 6,300 viewers).

Saturday 14th January
‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain’ repeat at 23:40 dominated ratings with 32,800 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ repeat at 22:30 with 10,200 viewers (original telecast 7,700 viewers). ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at 19:30 also pulled in 7,700 viewers.

Sunday 15th January
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 topped ratings with 40,400 viewers, followed by Hindi feature film at 15:30 with 16,300 viewers and ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 16,100 viewers.

Saturday 21st January
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 led with 26,800 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 16,500 viewers and ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ repeat at midnight with 9,900 viewers.

Sunday 22nd January
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 stayed top weekend choice with 30,700 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 22:30 with 17,600 viewers and ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at 19:30 with 11,900 viewers.

Saturday 28th January
‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at midnight was watched by 46,900 viewers, followed by ‘Happy Hours’ at 00:30 with 37,200 viewers. Meanwhile ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 attracted 14,300 viewers.

Sunday 29th January
Hindi feature film at 15:30 was watched by 31,700 viewers, followed by ‘The Place To Eat’ at 19:00 with 25,000 viewers and ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 19,000 viewers.

Saturday 4th February
‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 led with 21,600 viewers at 20:00, followed by ‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain’ at 15:00 with 18,100 viewers and Hindi feature film at midday with 11,600 viewers.

Sunday 5th February
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 topped ratings with 29,400 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ repeat at 22:30 with 25,000 viewers and the original telecast of the show with 14,600 viewers at 20:00.

Saturday 11th February
‘The Voice India’ repeat at 22:30 topped ratings with 33,100 viewers, followed by the original telecast at 20:00 with 20,600 viewers and Hindi feature film at 16:00 with 19,100 viewers.

Sunday 12th February
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 led with 27,800 viewers, followed by Hindi feature film at 15:30 with 19,900 viewers and ‘The Place To Eat’ at 19:00 with 15,700 viewers.

Saturday 18th February
‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 pulled in 21,600 viewers, followed by ‘Queens Hain Hum’ at 18:50 with 15,600 viewers and ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at 19:30 with 16,000 viewers.

Sunday 19th February
Hindi feature film at 15:30 attracted 37,100 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 30,100 viewers and Shah Rukh Khan special interview at 18:30 with 20,100 viewers.

Saturday 25th February
‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 was watched by 30,300 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ repeat at 22:30 with 26,500 viewers and ‘The Place To Eat’ repeat at 15:30 with 19,200 viewers.

Sunday 26th February
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 attracted 16,900 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 11,500 viewers and the repeat at 10:30 with 13,100 viewers.

Saturday 4th March
Hindi feature film at 16:00 pulled in 25,400 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 17,700 viewers and repeat at 22:30 with 14,400 viewers.

Sunday 5th March
Hindi feature film at 15:00 drew 24,700 viewers, followed by ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 with 20,600 viewers and ‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 with 13,000 viewers.

Saturday 11th March
‘The Place To Eat’ broke records with its repeat telecast at midnight with 73,100 viewers, followed by another repeat earlier at 23:40 with 61,200 viewers and ‘The Voice India’ repeat at 22:30 with 38,000 viewers.

Sunday 12th March
The finale of ‘The Voice India’ at 20:00 attracted 18,300 viewers, Hindi feature film at 15:30 with 13,300 viewers and Hindi feature film at midday with 6,800 viewers.

Saturday 18th March
‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain’ at 18:30 led with 12,800 viewers, followed by Hindi feature film at midday with 10,000 viewers and ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ repeat at 11:00 with 5,100 viewers. Post 19:00, not a single show passed the 5,000 viewers mark.

Sunday 19th March
Its two Hindi feature films attracted the most viewership of the day with 11,300 viewers at midday and 10,300 viewers at 15:30. All shows post 20:30 remained near the zero mark.

Saturday 25th March
‘Hoshiyaar’ at 21:30 raked in 22,900 viewers, followed by ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at 20:00 with 15,600 viewers and ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ at 22:30 repeat with 15,600 viewers.

Sunday 26th March
The event ‘Umang 2017’ at 19:00 topped ratings with 22,400 viewers, followed by Hindi feature film at 15:30 with 18,500 viewers and Hindi feature film at midday with 15,000 viewers.

Consolidated viewing data for Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April were not available at the time of publishing this article. However, in overnights data supplied to BizAsiaLive.com, the most watched property on the channel on Saturday 1st April was the movie ‘Gadar – Ek Prem Katha’ with an average of just 2,300 viewers. On Sunday 2nd April, the first telecast on &TV of ZEE Network’s money-spinner ZEE Cine Awards could only bring in 9,100 viewers on average.

Looking at the most common factors from the data above, ‘The Voice India’ helped boost weekend ratings on &TV, while shows like ‘Hoshiyaar’ and ‘The Place To Eat’ have done well regularly. Even though ‘Hoshiyaar’ has fallen recently in ratings, ‘The Place To Eat’ has ended its season run a few days ago. The ratings of ‘Aadhe Adhoore’ were inconsistent and weekday shows like ‘Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain’, ‘Santoshi Maa’ and ‘Queens Hain Hum’ have not been able to give the channel the same success as weekday ratings.

To bolster its weekend programming, the channel recently introduced an early morning movie slot, which seems to be working well. Movie premieres are a given to bringing in big audiences to any channel, hence the reason &TV UK has been broadcasting movie premieres (classic films) for the first time in HD quality (on Sky). However, the ratings have been a far cry from the 20,000 – 30,000 viewers that came to the channel previously for premieres. It is expecting bigger numbers with its slate of new releases that include ‘Dangal’ (2016) and ‘Raees’ (2017) that will premiere this spring.

On the programming front, &TV will launch a weekend cricket based food show ‘Taste Match’, which it is hoping will boost numbers from this weekend. It is also expected to bring back more reality shows later this summer to fill the gap left vacant by ‘The Voice India’.

&TV UK’s weekly reach currently stands at 502,000 viewers (week ending Sunday 26th March – Source: BARB). Its average weekly reach hovers around the 530,000 viewers mark. It will be interesting to see how &TV UK ratings fluctuate when other Asian channels leave the Sky Asia Pack this summer, to join the basic Sky pack.