Dainik Bhaskar
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television
Writer: Noor Fathima Warsia - Monday, Jun 18,2007 9:08 AM

Getting the act right for STAR India

This week has two good news for STAR Plus in terms of ratings. TAM Media Research shows that for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, ‘Star Voice of India’ (VOI) in its fourth week has managed to perform better than the competition, as has ‘Kasturi’. According to Ajay Vidyasagar, President, Content and New Media, STAR India, the mood the organisation was already a little high with these successes.

Is STAR India really treating one week’s rating as a big achievement? “We are not talking about one week here at all,” clarified Vidyasagar, adding, “The numbers in this week are surely something that the teams at STAR India are happy about, but this is not just a chance rating. The trends of these shows are positive ones. We have re-engineered our operations and the effects of this new-improved machinery at STAR is now beginning to show on our overall performance. There is a general sense of forward looking here.”

Vidyasagar further said that in addition to moving Ravi Menon as Senior VP for Programming, Zee TV’s Creative Director, Vivek Bahl, had been roped in as VP and Creative Director for new fiction content development. Bahl will report to Menon, who in turn reports to Vidyasagar. “I am very excited about Bahl. He is a great resource and I already see some serious discipline coming in the programming,” he added.

When asked whether more people would be added to the programming teams, given that a significant number had left the channel, Vidyasagar said, “We are beefing up the teams, but some of the positions in the second and the third rungs that are left, we don’t even intend to replace.”

He added that some of the changes in the programming were thought through in the new competition age and believed that recent numbers indicated that the efforts were working out. He informed, “VOI has seen a huge 59 per cent growth in ratings from the launch week, and has seen a growth in 16 out of the 18 markets. What is even better is that the studio episodes break now, which means that the ratings will only get better from here.”

“VOI is the leader amongst these kinds of shows because any consumer who has been watching these products has come back to us based on the quality of talent, and a talent show is only about that,” added Vidyasagar.

Speaking on ‘Kasturi’, he said, “When we transited from KBC-SRK to the new shows in that block we knew it would be an interesting tap dance of sorts. We had to move from a very big platform and we also knew that at 9.30, we have Saath Phere, which has been doing well for Zee TV. The task was to build out a new franchise that we can start growing from there.”

“In seven weeks, there is a clear trend line of growth week-on-week. We have really gone and acquired viewership at the cost of the rest of the GEC, and that is an achievement,” said Vidyasagar.

He is gung-ho on the way forward for STAR India now, and it is not a long wait to know how correct he is on that.

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