Star Plus has undertaken quite a few programming changes, including the decision to wrap up the long-running ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’; extend ‘Bidaai’ to an hour and launch two new shows to ensure that the channel keeps a significant gap with its competition. It can be called as the end of an era on television in India. Star Plus had wrapped up ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ earlier in the year, while ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki’ ended a few weeks back.
Unlike the other slots, where another Balaji show had replaced the outgoing one, in the case of the 10.30 pm slot, it is a Rajan Shahi production that would replace the show. Shahi is the creator of ‘Bidaai’.
Industry insiders explained that all was not well between Balaji and Star Plus ever since Balaji show ratings were dropping on the channel. Where a year back, the Balaji show was delivering close to 120 GRPs to the channel, the number of late had declined by half. Given the premium that Star was paying for these shows, the properties were seen as “too expensive”. Balaji has not taken kindly to Star’s decision to wrap up ‘Kyunki...’. Sources divulged that ‘Kyunki...’ was expected to continue till March 2009. The content creator had informed the BSE on October 20, 2008, that it would take legal measures against Star India on the decision to wrap up the serial in next month.
Legal battle is not the only thing that has kept Star Plus engaged. The channel has been busy making moves that it believes would play a role in keeping its ratings higher than that of the competition. Of late, Star Plus is just 40 GRPs ahead of the competition. While it is true that Star Plus has seen worse days and there were weeks when it was just three GRPs ahead of Zee TV, but Star had pulled the difference back to 100 GRPs. The gap seems to be narrowing again.
Some of the other changes in Star’s content line-up include its top-rated show ‘Bidaai’ becoming a one-hour programme. The 10.00 pm slot currently houses a Diwali event that the channel believes would keep the slot warm and keep bringing in the numbers. Another new show that is set to launch on the channel soon is ‘Aap ki Kachehri’. Kiren Bedi is hosting this show. Synergy Adlabs is the production house on the show, and the theme revolves around real families and related issues.
Keertan Adyanthaya, EVP and GM, Star Plus added here that ‘Nach Baliye 4’, too, would ensure that Star Plus was seeing a decent ratings fare. He said that the broad objective was to get the high rated shows back on the channel that would make a significant difference to the overall performance of the channel.