The countdown has begun. The billboards are all flashing and the television channels have their strategies in place to rake in the extra moolah through festive season-specific advertising. It’s going to be Asha Bhonsle live on Sony, an open air Antakshari on Star Plus, Sitaron Ke Sang on Doordarshan and a movie treat for the film buffs on Star Movies and HBO.
While the viewers evaluate which channel to click and stick to, the channel managers will also be watching, looking to see if they can wean away loyal audiences from the competition during the run-up to the New Year. Star TV, for example, has spent over Rs 2 crore on its New Year eve package, the countdown for which started from Christmas-eve.
Star Plus has planned to telecast on December 31 an open air Antakshari shot at the India Gate. The musical event will be followed by a starry razzmatazz with film stars wooing the viewers.
Doordarshan, one of the oldest player in TV business, has also spruced up its act. DD1,the national network, is leaning on DD Metro for help. DD1 will air a programme based on Helen’s dances featuring stars like Raveena Tandon and Urmila, shown earlier on DD Metro, in the afternoon of December 31, according to TK Das, controller, programmes, DD1.
SABe Television Network is seeing the New Year as an opportunity to make a mark with the viewers. The company is putting in more than a crore of rupees to design its year-end package.
A senior executive of News TV says such packages like the New Year programming is more important from the viewers’ point of view, so it’s not just about generate revenues.
That’s why SABe’s special edition of its game show is scheduled for the 31st afternoon so it doesn't clash with the more popular Kaun Banega Crorepati on Star Plus that will have Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherji testing their brains with the Big B.
But, while the companies put in their heart and soul and advertisers reciprocate, the fear of the viewers' attention being frittered away looms large among company officials.