Bindass, the general entertainment channel from GenX (a UTV Software Communications company), is seeing some changes in its operations already. Zarina Mehta, CEO, GenX, informed that there was no change in the works on the heels of the Astro association being called off. As UTV continues its hunt for a stakeholder in all of its broadcasting business, Bindass already has planned some changes based on the numbers that it has seen so far and audience feedback.
Mehta reiterated that Bindass was targeting the 15-34 age group with its various initiatives, and that she was happy with the progress so far on the ratings. She said, “We are at 20 GRPs for Bindass and again 20 GRPs for Bindass Movies, and this is only in the eighth week of launch. Star One and SAB achieved this in the fifth week of their launch, despite the huge investments that they made in the channel, unlike us. We have only four hours of original programming, and to get such numbers for that means that our content is sticky.”
It would appear that the dubbed content on the channel hasn’t really hit off with the viewers, or even the advertisers. Mehta said, “It is working brilliantly with the viewers, but not with some of the advertisers, and that is fine. Advertisers should buy what they like, and there are different things that we are offering.”
Mehta is clear that Bindass’ objective is to get 90 GRPs in 24 months, and that is what the channel is working towards. She informed that marketing initiatives around ‘Sun Yaar Chill Maar’ would begin soon and that there would be changes in shows such as ‘Lagegi’. She said, “We keep doing research, and one of the first things after the channel’s launch that became obvious was that ‘Lagegi’ was too edgy for co-viewing. So, we have decided to rename it as ‘Hassley India’.”
‘Hassley India’ would also be extended on-ground with the channel’s initiatives ‘Comedy Gang War’ (CGW). CGW is planned as a five-city event beginning in the January-February 2008 period, which would see gangs of three and five competing with each other. The winners would get a chance to star in a UTV movie, which would be directed by a known comedy director. The on-ground initiative would be turned into a capsule on the show as well.
Mehta further spoke on all the initiatives from Bindass, and said, “Bindass Movies is doing well and will also grow from here. Our digital initiatives are also paying off, plus we have the Web. We’ve had 1.3 million hits on our website and nearly 160,000 people have spent over three minutes on the website, which is a good statistic. Around 3.4 million young Indians have been contacted on ground by us.”
She further said, “Bindass is working on building on what is clicking, and what is not. We’ve figured out a model for that. If we’ve beaten MTV in 55 days, it is a good start.”