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Factors For Popularity Of Reality TV Show

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 3215 words Published: 8th May 2017

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The recent onslaught of new reality programmes on general entertainment channels has once again brought this genre of programming into the limelight. Reality TV is not a new genre here; it has just become more popular (and controversial) now.

Reality shows are almost a decade old but thus far, soaps have reigned large in terms of television ratings. With rising competition, however, in recent months, non-fiction-based programmes have made a stunning comeback, albeit in a new avatar-titillating reality programming. After an overdose of saas-bahu (daughter-in-law-mother-in-law) soaps, the producers and also the audience seem to be happy lapping up more realistic soaps (fiction) and reality (non-fiction) programmes. In the list of the top 10 programmes on television currently are two reality shows and some socially relevant soap operas.

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There are two things about reality shows that attract viewers and generate controversy: the concept of reality or realism; and the shock effect. The concept of reality TV draws from realism in cinema. So, it’s a format that presents ordinary people in live, supposedly unscripted (though often deliberately manufactured) situations, and monitors or judges their emotions, behaviour or talent. Such formats usually invoke competition and provide big money as rewards.

Still, the very dissonance between the fact that these programmes are real and relevant (for the audience) and that contestants usually compete in them for fame and money-thereby being willing to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do-raises issues related to the honesty of reality shows. The situation is exacerbated when producers use the concept of reality to shock and awe audiences-one way to break through the clutter.

The point still remains: What determines the popularity of reality television show?

2.0 Review of Literature

The process of QDA: John Seidel, in his article, discusses at length, the intricacies of the process of qualitative data analysis (QDA). The author goes on to explain that how the complex and rigorous practice of QDA is based on a simple foundation. QDA is described as a process of Noticing, Collecting, and Thinking about interesting things.

QDA process has the following characteristics:

Iterative and Progressive: The process is iterative and progressive because it is a cycle that keeps repeating. For example, when you are thinking about things you also start noticing few things in the data. You then collect and think about these new things. In principle the process is an infinite spiral.

Recursive: The process is recursive because one part can call you back to a previous part. For example, while you are busy collecting things you might simultaneously start noticing new things to collect.

Holographic: The process is holographic in that each step in the process contains the entire process. For example, when you first notice things you are already mentally collecting and thinking about those things.

1. Noticing Things and coding data – Noticing simply means making observations, writing field notes, tape recording interviews, gathering documents, etc. When you do this you are producing a record of the things that you have noticed. Reading the record helps you focus your attention on that record, and notice interesting things in the record.Coding data is a simple process. When you read a book, underline or highlight passages and make margin notes you are “coding” that book.

2. Collecting and sorting instances of things – This process follows once you have noticed and coded things. The author compares this process to a jigsaw puzzle where you start by sorting the pieces of the puzzle. In a puzzle picture with a tree, a house, and sky, a common strategy for solving it is to identify and sort puzzle pieces into groups ( e.g., frame pieces, tree pieces, house pieces, and sky pieces). When you identify piece, you are noticing and “coding” them. When you sort the pieces you are “collecting” them.The author suggests that disassembling, coding, and then sorting and sifting through the data, is the primary path to analysis. But intensive data coding, disassembly, sorting, and sifting, is neither the only way to analyze data, nor is it necessarily the most appropriate strategy.

3. Thinking about things – In the thinking process, one examines the things that have been collected with a view to achieve the following goals: . Your goals are: a) to make some type of sense out of each collection, b) look for patterns and relationships both within a collection, and also across collections, and c) to make general discoveries about the phenomena you are researching.

One must compare and contrast each of the things that have been noticed in order to discover similarities and differences, build typologies, or find sequences and patterns. In the process one might also stumble across both wholes and holes in the data.

Popularity of Reality TV

The article explains the results of a new study that examines the ongoing popularity of reality TV. Unlike other shows such as news programs or sitcoms, reality TV allows viewers to imagine themselves as actual participants. People may find a certain fascination in contrasting what they think they would do in a given situation to the actions taken by the “real” participants – a group of individuals they perceive as their peers.

In many of the reality shows, “ordinary” people are placed in exotic, unfamiliar surroundings where they are pitted against the elements. Others focus on ordinary people engaging in common activities such as dating or home redecorating. In both instances, viewers are given the chance to compare and contrast their own lives with those of the shows’ protagonists. The resulting experience is a complexly constructed – and highly individualized – experience the researchers call “hyper authenticity.” That viewers may be drawn by the chance to mentally “test” their behavior against that of the actual participants contrasts with the common criticism of reality TV viewers as passive voyeurs thereby blending fantasy and reality.

Most participants agreed that the main thing that made reality TV shows more interesting than sitcoms is that they are unscripted. In conclusion, the author senses that the success of reality-based entertainment may be the depiction by certain shows that it is totally foreign to viewers. It may reflect nostalgia for authenticity among the class of consumers to whom it is most rigorously denied. According to the researchers, others may appeal simply because they are so familiar, and therefore understandable, to viewers.


What advertisers want from online audience measurement

The objective of this paper is to help inform current and future efforts to advance online audience measurement by providing advertisers’ constructive input on this vital issue

Advertisers increasingly communicate to and interact with their target audiences through the online media in all its variations and platforms for a broad range of purposes and objectives including search, social networks, display, extensions of traditional media, advertiser’s own sites or services, on fixed and mobile platforms, one-way and interactive.

The information needed is specifically related to the following:

– Assess the appropriateness and economic value of various online media alternatives and vehicles,

– Predict and plan delivery against targets, build online-and-offline strategies and related media mix, arbitrate between solutions, allocate budget resources and project ROI

– Purchase commercial space (and/or other inventory, e.g. search) according to properly defi ned and reliable metrics for contacts with the target audience

– Monitor actual execution and post-analyze if, when and how the purchased spaces or other inventory had been delivered

– Evaluate the results and ROI to improve future strategies

The challenges inherent to the collection and production of the information arise as

– The online media is still in a nascent stage

– Exposure or commercial contact themselves are not clearly defined

– Receptiveness of commercial communication by the audience varies by format

– The vast majority have small, segmented audiences, the same person belonging to the audiences of a large number of different vehicles.

– Large samples and/or specific data collection procedures are required.Interactivity provides a major opportunity, which barely exists in other media:

– Interactivity of the devices: The technical ability to monitor (and potentially track across time) the actual display/delivery of each and every piece of content on every single device in front of the audience

– Interactivity of the audiences: most frequently the audiences, when reached, are in a posture/situation where feed-back is attitudinally natural and technically possible/seamless.

Another opportunity arises from the relative ‘youth’ of the media. As new measurement systems are introduced in parallel with the media’s evolution, the industry can set them up according to the needs of all parties: Consistently across markets whilst benefitting from cross-border sharing of experimentation and experience.

Objective statement:

To study the factors responsible for popularity of reality TV show


Dependent factor: Performance of reality TV shows

Independent factors:

(i) Target audience

Age group

Professional and cultural background

Psychological mindset

(ii) Social context

Political issues in domestic country

Social issues in domestic country

(iii) TV programming

Time slot in which the program is broadcasted

TRPs of other TV programmes on this channel

(iv) Competition

TRPs of TV shows on other channels

Profitability of the channel versus that of other channels

Target Audience

Social Context

Popularity of Reality TV show


TV programming

Measurement of variables



Age group

Age group and gender

Professional and cultural background

occupation, , number of family members, Education,

Psychological mindset

tourist destination, idle time, you relate to, connect with reality TV program

Political issues in domestic country

political issue that concern you

Social issues in domestic country

political issue that concern you

Time slot in which the program is broadcasted

number of hours of TV watching, length of program (airtime) favorite time of slot for TV

TRPs of other TV program on this channel

favorite TV programs, TRP ratings (secondary source)

TRPs of TV shows on other channels

TRP ratings (secondary source)


The popularity of reality television shows is influenced by the political issue in the mind of the respondent ( using ANOVA)

The popularity of reality television shows is influenced by the social issue in the mind of the respondent (using ANOVA)

There is relation between the respondents’ preference of activity in idle time and different genre of reality television show(using CROSSTABS)

There is a relation between age group and preference of time slot (using CROSSTABS)

The educational background of the respondents is independent of popularity of reality shows (using Chi Square)

There is a relation between the reason for watching TV and popularity of reality TV shows.

Research Methodology

Recent success of reality television programs made us inquisitive about the factors that dictate their success. We turned this idea into a research question. We reviewed few articles from literature related to this topic so that the knowledge gained will help us in mapping these factors and giving importance to them. We decided to conduct the following studies:

Survey-questionnaire: behaviors, beliefs and observations of specific groups are identified, reported and interpreted.

Analysis: classes of data are collected and studies conducted to discern patterns and formulate principles that might guide future action

We created our hypothesis to continue our studies. Our hypothesis were based on our reading over internet, blogs and personal opinion. The data will be collected and hypothesis will be analyses accordingly.

We select convenience sampling methodology for which we created an Online questionnaire in Google documents and passed the link to out friends by email, Google chats and social networking websites. We were able to collect their responses and analyze the data using SPSS 17. We then again checked our hypothesis to reach to the conclusion. On analysis, anomalies in the pattern if any will be captured and the research outcome can create an impact on programming reality television shows in future.

The final research report will be submitted to NMIMS university.

6.0 Sampling technique

In this form of research, it would be ideal to test the entire population, but the population is just too large that it is impossible to include every individual. This is the reason why we rely on sampling techniques like convenience sampling, the most common of all sampling techniques. Many researchers prefer this sampling technique because it is fast, inexpensive, easy and the subjects are readily available.

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USES: Researchers use convenience sampling not just because it is easy to use, but because it also has other research advantages. This sampling technique is also useful in documenting that a particular quality of a substance or phenomenon occurs within a given sample. Such studies are also very useful for detecting relationships among different phenomena.

CRITICISMS: The most obvious criticism about convenience sampling is sampling bias and that the sample is not representative of the entire population. This may be the biggest disadvantage when using a convenience sample because it leads to more problems and criticisms.

Systematic bias stems from sampling bias. This refers to a constant difference between the results from the sample and the theoretical results from the entire population. It is not rare that the results from a study that uses a convenience sample differ significantly with the results from the entire population. A consequence of having systematic bias is obtaining skewed results.

Another significant criticism about using a convenience sample is the limitation in generalization and inference making about the entire population. Since the sample is not representative of the population, the results of the study cannot speak for the entire population. This results to a low external validity of the study.

Total Sample (n=88)Sample

Regular television audience (n=60, 69%)

Moderately regular television audience (n=26, 29%)

Rarely watch television programs (n=2, 2%)

Although we rely on convenience sampling, we have a fairly distributed sample in terms of viewership of television programs

Age profile

Sex profile

Limitation: Since we ask our respondents to rate their favorite reality shows which actually belong to different timelines. Hence the true rating is basically relative to actual shows aired on television channels today. The same limitation also applies to data obtained from Secondary sources

Secondary Data

We have obtained secondary data from TAM peoplemeter system which measures audience viewership (in the form of TRPs). Since our research is based completely on TRPs, we have obtained the TRP ratings of different genre of Reality shows (Average TRP captured in the period in which the show is captured)

Television Rating


We observe that the sigma value for Thriller shows, aspirational shows and adventure politics (Fear Factor, Rakhi kaa swayamvar and Roadies) are below 0.05, hence at 95% significance level we reject the null hypothesis (u1 not equal to u2 not equal to u3 …. ). This means that we accept the alternate hypothesis which is the popularity of this show depends on social situation in mind of the respondent.

For the rest of them, we accept the null hypothesis which states that the popularity of these shows do not depend on social factors.

c) Hypothesis: There is relation between preferred activity in idle time and reality television


From the above table, we observe that respondents who like meeting and hanging out with friends are generally the ones who rate reality programs on higher side. Another point is those who prefer ‘Socialising with relatives’ actually like shows with high entertainment value and politics around 50% of Big Boss viewers.

D) Hypothesis: there is relation between age group and favorite time slot


Assuming 90% level of significance, we reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternate one and conclude that the liking of reality television program depends educational background of the respondents.

f) Hypothesis: There is a relation between the reason for watching TV and popularity of reality TV shows.


The above figure is a Percentage Bar Graph that shows the distribution of responses of various factors that people connect the reality shows with.

Roadies – Out of all the respondants who have rated Roadies as their favourite show, majority of them connect with Roadies as a pure entertainment show. The next big bunch of individuals connect with Roadies or watch Roadies as a Stress Reliever. It shows that the people interested in this show are looking for something as a stress buster.

Big Boss – Almost one-third of the respondants who like Big Boss relate to the show as a source of only Entertainment. It is followed by another big set of people who connect with the show as a stress reliever.

SaReGaMaPa – SaReGaMaPa the musical show also comes out as a major source of entertainment.

Rakhi Ka swayamvar – Unlike other shows, in case of Rakhi ka Swayamvar, people look at the show as a source of knowledge. This knowledge might include the curiosity of people to understand the prevailing rituals in the society.

For most of the other shows, the research highlights that people look at these shows more as a source of general entertainment than anything else.


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