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Laughter Champion opens to good numbers on STAR One, but is that enough?

27-September-2005
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Laughter Champion opens to good numbers on STAR One, but is that enough?

STAR One’s Laughter Challenge, which has now taken a step ahead to be Laughter Champions (TGILC), has become a household name, giving the channel TRPs as high as some of the programmes elder sibling STAR Plus enjoys. However, has the show made a difference to the channel?

Looking at some numbers, Laughter Challenge grew week-on-week for the property to deliver as high as 9.92 and 10.2 in the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets. The show led on to ‘Laughter Champions’, which has the winners of Challenge hosting the show. Laughter Champions opened with a TRP of 7.15, which increased to 8.94 in the One TG (CS AB 10-44). For STAR One, these are great numbers.

Navin Kathuria, Media Group Head, Media Direction, asserted, “Champions throwing such high numbers really wasn’t a surprise after seeing Challenge’s performance. People knew that the best of the best would be here and these numbers are as per expectations. The real surprise was Challenge’s performance, which has played a huge role in bringing One on the radar.”

Kathuria believed that word of mouth had played a significant role in Champions’ success, but for the channel on the whole, one show was not enough. A point of view that Starcom’s Broadcast Investments’ Group Head, Manoj Malkani echoed. According to Malkani, “The show has worked brilliantly and has given One the awareness, but the problem is the distance between the number one, that is Champions, and the number two on the channel.”

The second rung of shows on the channel comprises shows like ‘Super Sale’ and ‘Bluff Master’, which do rate on occasions like special episodes, but haven’t been consistent so far. ‘Instant Khichdi’, ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ and other such shows, too, play largely in the 1 plus mark or decimal TRPs.

STAR One’s Creative Director Ravi Menon offered the channel’s perspective on the ratings, “You must remember that most of these shows have been on the channel ever since its launch. We know the ratings gap between the top-rated show and the other shows and we are rectifying that.”

Speaking on how TGILC had benefited the channel, Menon said, “What we were lacking, as is the case with any new channel, was the awareness level, but TGILC has changed that for us completely. We required a minimum audience share before we could introduce more compelling properties and we have that now.”

With TGILC, STAR One has a talking point and a game plan, too. To begin with, some of the older shows on the channel like ‘Siddhanth’ and ‘Special Squad’ are taking a break.

“Right from our inception, we were clear that we will bring finite properties on the channel, which will work in seasons. The 52-episode period for these shows is completing and we will bring them back in more evolved avatars,” Menon pointed out.

The channel has planned three new shows in the next one month, which include work from production houses like Balaji Telefilms, Hats Off Production and Rose AV (the makers of ‘Remix’).

Speaking on these, Menon said, “Ekta is doing ‘Karmic Connection’ for us, which is completely different from the kinds of shows that she does for other channels, but is equally captivating. Aatish and JD have come with a concept that takes situation comedy to the next level and we are in the process of finalising details on that as well. Moreover, we expect ‘Nach Baliye’ to work very well for us, too.”

In short, STAR One has a lot happening, even as the channel is encashing on the talents it found from TGILC. Another month and the channel will be one-year old. STAR India does appear to have a story to tell on the first birthday of this baby of the STAR Network.

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