Given the fierce competition in the 9-10 pm prime slot on Indian television, even the leader has to stay on its toes to lure viewers. The band has recently seen Zee TV taking leadership position with two of its highest delivering shows – ‘Saath Phere’ and ‘Kasamh Se’. Even though the channel has slipped from the No. 1 position this week, but on the larger average, Zee has seen some very good numbers here as against STAR Plus. The latest initiative from STAR Plus in this block is replacing ‘Kkavyanjali’ with ‘Karam Apna Apna’ by August end.
On the larger picture, STAR Plus has taken cognizance of fact that competition is scoring over itself when TAM Media Research numbers are seen, and has in the process undertaken various steps to fight back. One of the first seen was ‘Miilee’, the 9.00 pm show, being replaced by ‘Viraasat’, which has so far been playing in between the 4 and 5 TRP region for STAR Plus, which by STAR standards are very low. Commenting on the numbers of the new show, Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Director, STAR India, said, “At present, I am very happy. The show has clocked in an average of 6 plus last week and that indicates that it is on an upward trend, which is very good news.”
It may also be noted here that STAR Plus had cut down on the ad time for both ‘Viraasat’ and “Kkavyanjali’ for a while, making them single break shows. Giving the rationale here, Kejriwal said, “We have tried something different with ‘Viraasat’, instead of making it a lone girl sad story kind of show. ‘Kkavyanjali’, too, has seen some intense tracks. In both cases, we found it difficult to bring in two breaks and maintain the intensity of the storylines. So we had single breaks. We do these kinds of things on and off in viewer interest.”
Another initiative coming in the slot is a new show, ‘Karam Apna Apna’. The show has been done in partnership with Balaji again, as the other Balaji produced in the slot, ‘Kkavyanjali’, would be wrapped up. Kejriwal candidly admitted that ‘Kkavyanjali’ hadn’t worked as per expectations. She said, “The show started very well and we had always designed it as a finite show. It has even given us 12 plus on peak days. However, I think the problem came in when we changed the story track to give it another lease of life. The show has been slipping since and we didn’t see any point in dragging it further.”
According to Kejriwal, the 9.30 pm slot was too early for a thriller kind of show, which otherwise was working well for the channel in the late night slot. The new show addresses this and is what Kejriwal defines it as a traditional Indian soap. The objective is the same – gain lost ground in this cream time band.
Even as Kejriwal was happy with the “settling” of ‘Viraasat’, she also drew attention to the fact that media fragmentation was increasing and it was not something that could be ignored. She said, “These are some very good shows and they are doing well if you look at the competitive scene. Media fragmentation is a reality and it is getting more difficult everyday to get the double digits. We have to factor that.”
Many have factored that indeed, but many would be watching how the new show changes STAR Plus’ fate in the 9-10 pm block.