The Popularity of Indian Soap Operas in Bangladesh

Bikash Ch. Bhowmick, Nawaj Sharief


Watching Indian soap operas, especially in the evening, is now one of the key phenomena in Bangladesh society. Several researchers and newspaper reports claim that television viewers of Bangladesh, women in particular, spend a significant amount of their daily-time watching those Indian soaps. This study examines why Bangladeshi television audiences consume this particular media content while the similar is being produced and broadcast on local television channels. According to uses and gratification (U&G) researchers, people select particular media content(s) to fulfil the needs they have. However, this study also supplements that the selection of the contents is not predominantly governed by the demand of their needs, rather by the demand of their choices. Using an analytical induction method, the study finds that multiple causes (e.g. story of Indian soap opera, the theme of the story that reflects everyday life, the craft of soap’s narrative, characterisation, prominence of women character(s) in the story, retention of audience interest for next episode, acting, characters’ lifestyle, etc.) function together behind their loyal viewership toward Indian soap operas. The findings of the study also suggest that the inability of the local television industry to meet viewers’ expectations facilitates the consumption of Indian soaps and other television contents by the television audiences of Bangladesh.  


Keywords: Popularity, Indian soap operas, reasons, television audiences, Bangladesh.

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