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Hype or Reality; Vijay TV under close scrutiny

30-July-2002
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Hype or Reality; Vijay TV under close scrutiny

Despite speculation over Vijay TV's future in a market that is ruled by Sun TV, the channel is riding high because of their reality show and a couple of new serials. Perhaps following in the footsteps of satellite television giant Sun TV, Vijay TV has also bought the rights to a film 'Yenge entha kavithai' that is still playing in theatres.

According to Ajay Vidyasagar, GM, Regional Channels, Star India, "We have a lot of new programmes & initiatives planned for the year, and we definitely think that the viewers in Tamil Nadu will like and enjoy them".

However in the past week, the channel found itself in the midst of controversy with the Juvenile Welfare Board of Tamil Nadu. Criticized for the insensitive handling of children who featured on the reality show 'Kadhai alla nijam', Vijay TV officials have had to do reassure the dissatisfied board, that none of the children were forced to appear on the show. Ajay Vidyasagar explained that the channel is currently involved in talks with the Juvenile Welfare Board and that the matter will be resolved soon.

Otherwise, on the supposed increase of viewership and growing popularity of the channel also there is much speculation. According to Girish Menon, GM, MindShare, " It is still too soon to discuss the fate of Vijay TV. Their programs have always been of the highest quality, but finally it is the people who will decide whether the shows will do well or not". But he most certainly foresees an increase in short-term viewership.

Says the media planner from FCB Ulka, that despite all that Vijay TV has planned, it will not affect Sun TV in any way. Like K.Balaswaminathan, GM, Jaya TV, the media planner is also confused over why 'Kadhai Alla Nijam' was put in the 12.30 to 1.30 slot. The media planner explains, "Sun TV enjoys loyal viewership during the afternoon slot with serials like Nambikhay, Mangalyam and Annamalai. So if people watch 'Kadhai Alla Nijam' it will only be during breaks."

Vijay TV is however unaffected by these suppositions. Exuded Ajay Vidyasagar, "Nearly a third of all viewership of Tamil channels across the week comes from the "Noon Prime" daypart (11am - 2pm), where we have good products, but felt that we needed to have a flagship. Kadhai Alla Nijam is a step in that direction". According to him, not only does the product have high production values in terms of sets, format and host, the initial response has been encouraging as well.

He revealed that much thought is given to improvement of content and proper planning, owing to which the success of the shows and serials are inevitable.

But are the producers of serials in Vijay TV happy? Surprisingly Suresh Menon, MD, Telephoto confessed that there wasn't much he could say about whether his serial was doing well. Telephoto's 'Poo Vilangu' is the serial that began with 'Kadhai Alla Nijam'. According to Suresh Menon, since it is a commissioned program he doesn't get details on viewership. He did reveal however that with Sun TV, producers get a brighter picture on just how well their serials are doing. But he confessed that he wouldn't worry too much either, because the market share of Vijay TV has increased tremendously off late and so things should be looking brighter for them.

Despite mixed feelings over the channel, Vijay TV is certainly getting noticed. And whether they managed to affect the popularity of Sun TV, is only a matter of time.

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