NDTV Imagine has had an eventful 2009. As the channel moves towards it second anniversary on January 21, 2010, it has already seen its share of I&B Ministry’s attention, reality shows like ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’ that delivered better than anything on competition, and ending the year with ‘Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka’ that once again garnered a lot of media attention.
Looking back at the year gone by, Nikhil Madhok, VP - Marketing, Communication & Brand Management, NDTV Imagine, said that the developments that took place in 2009 were set in motion in late 2008, when the channel launched ‘Oye! Its Friday!’, a show that became popular with the youth TG, but never gave the channel any numbers. The channel then broad-based its appeal and refreshed the primetime line-up in early 2009. Out of the new shows launched, three shows kept the channel’s TRP count ticking – ‘Bandini’, ‘Jyoti’ and ‘Kitni Mohabbat Hai’.
The channel wanted an idea that would stand out and not follow the “dance and singing formats”. And the answer was ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’. The show was the highest rated show on NDTV Imagine since the channel’s launch. The next milestone was ‘Pati, Patni aur Woh’, a newer concept, too, but the ratings counter didn’t tick as much. “After these two shows, the audiences were expecting Imagine to do something different as far as reality shows are concerned, and that is when we launched ‘Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka’,” said Madhok.
The show is coming to an end and would be replaced by two fiction shows – ‘Do Hanso Ka Joda’ and ‘Devi’. ‘Do Hanso…’ is a tale of mismatched couples and is based in Vrindavan. The show has been produced by Rajshree Productions. ‘Devi’, on the other hand, is based on superstitions in rural India.
The Next Big Thing
The next big-ticket property for the channel is ‘Rahul Dulhania Le Jayenge’, which is the second season of ‘Swayamvar’. The difference in this season is that it would be the first time that girls would be seen wooing the guy. While the venue of the swayamvar has not changed, the channel has plans to pick up the scale. The channel has already started the promotions of the show by launching a music video. The campaign, which has been done by McCann Erickson, would be released soon.
Madhok is of the option that that ‘Rahul Dulhania…’ would definitely be among the top three shows launched, if not the top show. He said, “Typically, the first season of any show creates a buzz, but the ratings are higher in the second season as the show already has a loyal audience base and then the other set of people who have missed the action the first time around would join in.”
Plans for 2010
NDTV Imagine is gunning for a spot in the top three in 2010. Echoing what the channel CEO Sameer Nair has said on various occasions, Madhok said, “The most interesting thing about the media business, especially television, is that you are always one show away from being the number one player. The thing with one hit show is that it not only delivers ratings for itself, but is able to spread viewership to other shows as well.”
Fiction line-up is high up on the agenda for 2010, and the intention is to strengthen the Monday to Friday band. Madhok admitted that the present bouquet of shows had had its share of under-delivering or non-delivering shows, and the immediate next step was to weed out such shows. One example that Madhok cited was ‘Basera’.
The channel also wants to expand its primetime band to 7-11 pm from the current 8-11 pm primetime band.
Once that is taken care of, the focus will shift to strengthening the weekend band. Madhok also says that there is a possibility of having a second season for both ‘Pati, Patni aur Woh’ and ‘Raaz Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka’.