GECs have been experimenting with their programming lineup for a long time. The primetime band is when most of the people tune in to the GEC to watch soaps and channels are taking advantage of this and are extending their primetime. So while technically primetime is between 8pm and 10pm, channels have extended their primetime band from 7pm to 11:30pm.
Star Plus has, in fact, extended its original programming to 11.30 pm and just a couple of weeks ago it launched a new show called 'Maryada - Aakhir Kab Tak' in the late night slot.
Talking about this development, Anupam Vasudev, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communication, Star India, shared some numbers and said that the prime time in GEC has grown by around 15 to 16 per cent in the past few months. This proves that there are viewers available and there is potential to grow.
“We had original programming in this time band many years ago. A large portion of the viewers in this time band will be metro skewed,” he added.
While the new show has just started telecasting since last week, it is too soon to say whether this show is working for the channel and whether other channels will follow suit. However, media professionals give their take on this time band.
Kunal Jamuar, GM, Madison Media, said that Star Plus has experimented with original content in this time band. The channel will recover more if the production cost if kept low as this time band has limited ratings. “I expect reach and sampling to happen and its core audience will be male dominated and metro skewed,” he added.
However, Bhavna Jha, Associate Vice President, TME, Delhi, felt that the core audience for this band will be from smaller towns and will be female skewed. She said that this is a tried and tested time band for Star Plus and that the ratings of the show will almost get similar ratings as the shows on the 10pm time band.
She expects the show to get a rating of approximately 2.5 TVR to 2.7 TVR.
Jai Lala, Principal Partner, Exchange, Mindshare, added that viewers are used to watching movies in this time band. He added that shows will not get ratings like the prime time shows and will manage to get average ratings of 2 TVR. He explained this and said that viewers starting tuning in at 8 pm and start tuning out by 11- 11:30pm.
Divya Radhakrishnan, President, TME, said, “GEC’s have always been experimenting with time-slots. 10:30pm on Star Plus with ‘Kyunki…’ broke the myth of 9pm prime time. Then came the spate of original programming in the afternoon creating the ‘afternoon-prime’ slot. Colors pushed original programming into the 7 pm slot hoping to bring in the small-town viewers which worked very well. And now it is the turn of late prime at 11:30 pm. Since by virtue of its format it is ‘general’ entertainment, a segment for each slice of audience is in order. How these channels would go about with that is going to be a trial and error strategy. Anyway, repeat airings during this slot does give some ratings at this ‘insomnia’ hour.”
While it is too early to say whether the show will work in this time band or no but the possibility of more viewers sampling it will increase if the content is fresh.