Exaggerating numbers is a universally known PR tactic. This is even more so the case in the entertainment industry. When all else fails, producers and media houses distort numbers to show success.
In this new age of streaming services, transparency is no longer available to the general public. Studios can manipulate the numbers to show a bigger subscriber growth than is the case.
This lack of transparency is even more prevalent in Pakistan’s TV and Film industries. This has always been a topic of discussion amongst audiences and news sites.
So, it caught our attention when media giants Geo TV and Hum TV posted conflicting TRP reports. Let’s discuss.
Geo TV and Hum TV Share Conflicting TRPs
Geo TV and Hum TV posted the TRP numbers for their 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm Ramadan TV slots on their Insta handles.
Geo TV posted snippets on their Insta handle, showing that their shows ‘Heer Da Hero’ and ‘Tere Aany Se’were the leading performers in the 7 PM and 9 PM time slots.
Here we have HUM TV’s Instagram posting with TRP numbers for ‘Fairy Tale’ and ‘Chand Tara’ claiming these shows to have the highest TRP.
Both claim their shows to be the top performing ones in their respective time slots. So, who is lying? Because these posts also reported different figures for the competitor channel.
Could Both Sources be True?
From what we understand Hum TV has changed time bands to focus on certain consumer groups and time periods. The ratings generated by Hum TV are true, but apply to a certain segment of the market.
Basically, Geo TV generates ratings based on the complete set of consumers. While Hum TV generates ratings based on Consumers A, B, and C.
This goes to show that both Geo and Hum were true in showing these ratings, but for different time bands and consumer segments.
A General Lack of Transparency
The distortion of viewership ratings has been a hot topic for the industry recently. Since this hasn’t just been the case with TV shows but the music and film industries as well. Film studios are constantly reporting box office numbers that aren’t supported by the math.
Films supposedly doing more numbers than the available theatre seats in the country is impossible. But since there is no organization to properly authenticate these numbers, we are all supposed to buy these PR tactics.
Wajahat Rauf, from ‘Karachi Se Lahore’ fame, sat down with his wife and ‘Chhalawa’ Executive Producer, Shazia Wajahat for his ‘Voice Over Man’ YouTube show. When asked if producers hyperbolize box office earnings, Shazia responded with ‘everyone does it.’
This is an openly known secret at this point, so all these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Unless these channels come forward with an authenticated list of numbers, there is no way for us to know which shows are performing better. It is not a good look for the industry if everyone simply lies and calls their content the top performer. Genuine and unbiased sources should also build platforms to create healthy competition.
Both Geo Entertainment and Hum TV have come up with excellent dramas for the 7 PM and 9 PM slot, but there will be questions asked when both channels flaunt their dominance at the same time.