In February 2006, when Zee TV was closing the gap with Sony Entertainment Television to take on the second position in the Hindi general entertainment space, one show most credited to drive the channel’s performance was ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, then in the final stages of the ‘Challenge’ series.
‘Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge 2005’, which was launched in mid-2005, was taken through different stages, garnering more numbers by its finale in February 2006. The property in its 13th year has seen changes that the channel really didn’t experiment with in the period before that and from the looks of it, the efforts are paying off.
Looking at the latest series, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs’ came at a time when Zee TV on the whole has been seeing a good run. The show achieved an average of 5 plus TVR in the Hindi speaking markets for the target C&S4+ in the second week itself. As is known, the show was slotted on Fridays and Saturdays at 10.00 pm and the finale was on Saturday, October 28, 2006, which began airing from 8.40 pm.
In case of the finale, the peak rating of the show was 15.4 at 10.00 pm. Also, in the three metros where the three participants belonged to, Kolkata was at 15.8 with a reach of 39 per cent, Mumbai rated 13.9 and a reach of 29.6 per cent, and Delhi had a rating of 11.4 and reach of 29 per cent.
Being the topmost episode in the Hindi general entertainment space is no mean achievement and Zee TV is elated to have made it. Giving the larger picture here, Ashvini Yardi, Programming Head, Zee TV, explained, “‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ is over 12 years old and the brand really had become a household name. It had its loyal set of viewers and we were getting them at a regular basis, but the problem was that we were getting them only.”
She explained that the channel was clear on two things – one that the show was an established brand and second that the format was flexible enough to be leveraged to attract new audiences. Yardi said, “The task was to get the youth TG and we looked at various ways to achieve that.”
She divulged that perhaps the first revamping in format took place three years back when ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Golden Voice Hunt’ series was launched. Yardi said, “The show had delivered well for us even then, not in the range that we saw now of course, but a lot of people appreciated the show even then.”
In 2005 again, when the channel was going through a series of new shows and content restructuring, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ was brought under the scanner again and an in-house format, ‘Challenge’, was devised. “Challenge had worked very well for us – both in terms of ratings and the affinity built for the channel. In fact, the participants had become such names that we extended the property to make ‘Ek Main aur Ek Tu’, and the finale of which was done in Dubai,” Yardi said.
She further explained that the show had performed better in the latest series. Speaking on what worked, she said, “We tried something different. This wasn’t the first time that we had children participating in the show, but never on this scale. It was really the right mix in terms of the connect building with the viewer – so much so that Indians and NRIs called us after a few episodes asking if they could do something for Diwakar (one of the show’s most popular participants).”
Yardi also mentioned that the despite the finale being three and a half hours long, the stickiness of the show was such that even the break TVRs weren’t low. Does this create pressure for the next format? She replied, “We are excited working on it, we are thinking about quite a few ideas and by January 2007 will have more to show on this.”
In addition to the fact that the show has delivered very well for the channel, perhaps a reason why Zee TV should be happy is that ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ is an Indian format that could be sold to international markets rather than the other way round.
‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs’ finale fetches 11.1 TVR for Zee TV