STAR Plus weekends have been under the scanner ever since the channel decided to launch ‘KBC 2’ in the weekend slots. Even as ‘KBC 2’ had some good numbers to offer, many in the media were of the opinion that weekends would become a sore point for STAR Plus again with KBC 2’s unexpected wrap up and the other properties not being strong enough to maintain the numbers that KBC 2 had delivered. .
However, Satya Raghavan (who is currently looking after the marketing functions of all channels of the Network), said, “We never promised high double digit deliveries when we began work on the weekends. What we wanted was to open the whole weekend slot, which we managed successfully, and in that we are very proud of the viewership that we have and the leadership that we command.” .
Looking at some of the numbers here, TAM Media Research shows that for the target C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, the weekend deliveries on STAR Plus has grown by 22 per cent, from week 22-25 to week 27-30. One of the key launches that was the essential replacement of ‘KBC 2’ – ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’ – had given poor deliveries in its initial stages. Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Director, STAR Entertainment, had then said that this was expected because the storyline of the show was planned in that manner. .
In terms of numbers now, ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’ has grown from an average output of 3.5 TVR in week 22-25 to 5.2 in week 30. Subsequently, ‘Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby’, which had dropped from 6-plus that it was throwing, has regained again week 25 onwards, with week 27-30 keeping at an average of 5.6. .
Commenting on the numbers, Raghavan said, “We are very happy with ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’s numbers, there has been a consistent growth in the show. ‘Baa, Bahoo aur Baby’, too, has played a key role in getting a sustained audience back on the channel.” .
When asked about the other initiatives that didn’t take off for the channel, Raghavan replied, “There always are key shows – at present it is ‘Prithviraj…’, ‘Baa…’ and ‘Thodi…’ in addition to which, there always would be spike shows like ‘Kaboom’ or ‘Jodee Kamaal Ki’ that came, did their part and were replaced. That is going to be the way STAR Plus plans to be working on weekend slots for a while.” .
According to him, ‘Thodi Si Zameen, Thoda sa Aasman’ was the priority launch at present, with August 19, 2006 being the D-Day. The channel is using the on-air medium largely to promote the new show and heavily banking on the protagonist, who for the first time would be seen out of a ‘Tulsi’ role that she is popular for. .
As for ‘Lucky’, Raghavan said, “The show is about a character called Lucky, who we think will appeal to the youngsters of India.” He, however, didn’t divulge further on the new show. Lucky is expected to come on-air in September, 2006. .
Raghavan said, “Before we embarked on weekends, it was believed that a sustained viewership is difficult to achieve on this time band. We have changed that and are constantly working on changing it some more.”