The marathon format, wherein back-to-back episodes of a show are aired, is a common phenomenon internationally and has been seen in English entertainment like 'Friends' marathon on Zee Café. When tried in original Hindi programming, the strategy also delivered. Star One tried it once with 'Instant Khichdi' resulting in increased channel share for the day. Now when the channel tried the same with Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, the results are no different, giving Star One an all time high channel share for the telecast.
Beginning with numbers, TAM Media Research data indicates that even if only the primetime numbers for CS 4+ in the Hindi speaking market is seen, Star One has recorded a weekly average channel share of 1.37, which is the highest it has seen in these parameters. If its core TG, CS AB 10-44, is seen, the share is even higher at 2.38 per cent for the same market for week 20.
In Hindi metros, for One's core TG on May 8, the channel is the highest rated channel on an all day rating, delivering a share as high as 7.3 per cent, followed by Zee TV at 6.07 per cent and Star Plus at 3.02 per cent.
"The marathon format is working very well for us," said Ajay Vidyasagar, Head, Marketing, STAR India. "We are very delighted with these numbers. The strategy had worked when we first tried it with 'Instant Khichdi' on Fool's Day and the performance of the Sarabhai marathon is even better."
It should be noted that both these shows are the highest rated show on Star One in any case. According to Vidyasagar, the experience with 'Instant Khichdi' was a "dramatic eye-opener." Said he, "The increased buzz it created and volumes that it brought to the channel, brings its own advantages. The advertiser response is fantastic. More importantly, what these numbers have done is proved Star One as a cost effective option in context to the current ratio of cost versus returns."
Sarabhai Marathon has two main sponsors including Titan Fastrack. The channel is planning on more such marathons to build the 'One' brand better. Vidyasagar explained that these marathons have helped build awareness around the channel.
On whether the channel would try the same with non-comedy shows as well, Vidyasagar replied, "We are still working on the shows with which we want to try this format and the appropriate time when it can be done. But I don't see why we can't try it with the other shows on the channel. Each of these shows like 'Remix' has its own appeal and a loyal audience. I think it can work with other genres as well."