Zee has given itself another six to eight months to wrest back the top slot from STAR. Though Zee has a limited success with its efforts to revamp its prime channel with a host of new programmes, the channel is in the midst of getting into the second phase of brand-building exercise.
On the anvil are below-the-line activities such as ground events and contact programmes, targeted at smaller towns and cities in North and West India. The channel has roped in its cable distribution arm, SitiCable. Plans are afoot to spread brand awareness through events such as Diwali melas and shopping festivals.
Though the channel would have hoped to see more of its new programmes in the popularity charts, it refuses to throw in the towel. For the record, just one of Zee’s 26 new programmes (Koi Apna Sa) is currently in Top 100.
Interestingly, four of its long-standing programmes Amanat, Koshish… Ak Aasha, Mendi Tere Naam Ki and India’s Most Wanted continue to remain popular.
Many in the advertising fraternity believe that Zee’s revamp exercise stresses too much on the channel and not on the merit of individual programmes. That is not very flattering for a channel that has gone all out to woo viewers with a Rs 15 crore promotion budget.
According to Zee’s internal research, post re-launch, the reach of the programmes have increased. He however some of the new programmes that did not pick up in viewership terms may not be continued beyond a point and there would be a shift in programme schedules depending on audience reaction.
Over the next six months, the channel would introduce some new genres of programmes such as adventure-based reality TV show, Rah. Also on the anvil is Sanjay Khan’s epic, Mahabharata.
Sinha feels that By the middle of next year, Zee should be able to break STAR’s monopoly at the top. With STAR topping the popularity charts with over 40 programmes in the Top 100, and the popularity of the Saas-Bahu saga not showing any signs of abating, most media watchers feel that it would be a long and sustained haul ahead for Zee.