ZEE TV has come the closest yet to knock off STAR Plus from the number one position in India.

According to latest TAM data (week ending 8th September) released today, ZEE TV currently holds 29 shows within the Top 100 list, compared to STAR Plus’ 34. This is the closest the two have come since STAR Plus took over as leader in 2000.

ZEE TV’s ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa: Challenge 2007’ continues to reign the popularity charts and remains India’s most watched TV show, even beating the once reliable Ekta Kapoor soap ‘Kyunki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, which has seen its audience dwindle of late.

‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa: Challenge 2007’ peaked with a TVR of 5.8 and 5.0 for its two episodes that week, with its music rival ‘Voice Of India’ on STAR Plus raking in just 3.2. Sony Entertainment Television Asia’s ‘Indian Idol’ is faring much better with TVRs of 4.6 and 3.1 for its two shows, however the channel is struggling overall with only 5 shows inside the TAM Top 100.

ZEE TV’s top soap currently is ‘Banoo Mein Teri Dulhann’ winning in the 20:00 slot in India. It has managed an average TVR mark of 4.0 in the referred TAM data. Its other soaps ‘Saat Phere’ and ‘Kasamh Se’ also are doing well but have recently seen a slight dent in ratings due to competition from STAR Plus’ soaps ‘Kasturi’ and ‘Meri Awaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni’, which are also shown at the same time.

ZEE TV’s new afternoon soap ‘Rakhi’ has also got off to a good start with a TVR of 2.1. Other dramas like ‘Ghar Ki Lakshmi Betiyaan’, ‘Maayka’ and ‘Teen Bahuraniyan’ also feature inside ZEE TV’s Top 29. In contrast, STAR Plus’ Top 34 shows consist of ‘Kyunki…’, ‘Kahanii…’, ‘Kayamath’, ‘Kasturi’ and mythlogical shows ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’ and ‘Sai Baba’.

Meanwhile STAR’s other channels STAR One is still riding on the dependable ‘The Great Indian Laughter’ grabbing a TVR of 1.9. Its sports channel ESPN STAR Sports was the only broadcaster in India to telecast the India tour of England, which has paid dividends with a rating of 2.6 and 2.0 for the finals.

The question is, will ZEE TV be able to overtake STAR Plus completely next week or will it take longer? Whatever the answer, keep it with BizAsia.co.uk as we continue to watch the changing dynamics in Indian television. No doubt, this is just a start to how things are shaping up, ZEE Network is launching its second entertainment sibling ZEE Next in the coming weeks, there’s also NDTV’s entertainment channel on the anvil and offerings from Sahara One and UTV are around the corner.