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Life Ok had an appetite for big risks

24-May-2012
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Life Ok had an appetite for big risks

STAR India’s second general entertainment channel Life OK climbed up the ratings chart in TAM Media Research’s latest week to beat Multi Screen Media’s second general entertainment channel Sab. With weekly GRPs of 123, Life OK hit an all time high and the channel’s General Manager, Ajit Thakur, explained that the best part about the week’s numbers is that it has come on the basis of existing shows.

Thakur clarified at the outset that there is still time before the channel could speak on how good or bad the numbers are, as the channel’s viewership is still settling. He said, “But it was very heartening for us to see that Life OK numbers have been on a steady rise ever since IPL Season 5 (Indian Premium League) has begun. Even though the real test of the numbers will come a year down the line, the positive response from our audience reiterates that Life OK’s philosophy has clicked.”

STAR India has designed Life OK to be a channel where the channel name itself connotes the brand proposition, which quite simply is that ‘Life is ok’. Every show attempts to communicate a social message and focuses on the positives of life.

One of the biggest contributors to the channel’s numbers this week was the performance of mythological show ‘Mahadev’. The spike in the story line had given back-to-back episodes that rated 2 plus in the Hindi speaking markets for the target group C&S 4+.

However, one might argue how the channel’s proposition of social message comes through in a show like ‘Mahadev’. Thakur replied, “There are many lessons from Mahadev’s life about how one finds balance in life and the importance of family and love. That is the aspect we have focussed on.”

Two other shows that the channel is focussing immensely on are ‘Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki’ and ‘Dil Se Di Dua – Saubhagyavati Bhava’. It is understood that the next twist in the story lines will be seen in these two shows. The channel expects a positive rub off on its viewership due to this.

Thakur asserted that the channel’s philosophy is cutting through its shows and that it is helping the channel. At the time of its launch in December 2011, Life OK had adopted the programming strategy of 20-minute shows with seven days programming and the shortest ad breaks. The channel has now changed some aspect of this. While ‘Mahadev’ has been made six days a week, the other two shows – ‘Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki’ and ‘Dil Se Dua – Saubhagyavati Bhava’ are five days a week. But Life OK has increased the duration of the episodes of each of the shows.

Thakur observed, “Uday (Shankar, CEO, STAR India) and Sanjay (Gupta, COO, STAR India) have allowed us to do different things and we did not do any of the usual stuff you would expect a GEC to do. It had a clear appetite for big risks. Most importantly, the team working on the channel is perhaps the youngest team for any channel across the industry. Every single head of department is doing the job for the first time. It is very satisfying to see these numbers also because of that. From here, we are going to build on the existing shows and philosophy of the channel.”

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