Raj TV is betting big on music and sprucing up existing shows even as it is conceiving more event properties revolving around music. Close on the heels of its SPB-Usha Uthup concert, the channel is gearing up for ‘Isai Sangamam’, featuring some of the leading singers from India and Malaysia.
These include veteran composer M S Viswanathan and singer ‘Malaysia’ Vasudevan. The event will also feature Unni Menon, Anuradha Sriram, and singers from Malaysia, Shanmugam and Rajarajan.
Elaborating on the event format, B Shankar, VP-Marketing and Sales, Raj TV, said, “Music concerts as a format have been actively pursued on Raj TV for over four years now. While many of these are small events in terms of sheer monies spent, in terms of value to advertisers, they are huge because of the overall buzz that we try and create around each event. In terms of ratings, music event formats have delivered time and again in Tamil and we will continue to line up more of them.”
‘Isai Sangamam’ will be telecast sometime in March. Last year, the channel had executed a concert with evergreen singer S Janaki, and the event was held in Delhi. The event, based on the felicitation of lyricist Vaali, was interspersed with his songs performed at the venue and featured popular singers as well. Another concert last year was organised with SP Balasubramaniam. Jaya TV had put together a mega night with maestro Illayaraaja last year, featuring a host of leading singers.
Vijay TV, too, had its share of music concerts in 2005, one with Hariharan on his 50th birthday, another with SPB and Chitra, yet another with Chitra and Mano, and one with Srinivas, Karthik and Sujatha.
Another event from the channel is scheduled for February 26, 2006, titled ‘Kovai Express’, and will feature Sujatha, Harish Raghavendra, Chinmayee, Tipu, Madhu Balakrishnan and Malathi. Not as many veterans as some of its other events, but the differentiation this time will be in the form of three finalists from the Great Indian Laughter Challenge’s Tamil version (Kalakkapovadhu Yaaru) – Kovai Guna, Kovai Ashok, and David Raj – playing hosts.
But is there a limit to milking a format? Won’t audiences get tired of music concerts after a point?
Replied Shankar, “Music is music at the end of the day and people love it. Also, every event is unique and differentiated. An SP Balasubramaniam has his own set of audiences, and so does a ‘Malaysia’ Vasudevan or an Usha Uthup or an AR Rahman. The way we package and treat each event is also very different.”
Moving to other genres of music, Raj TV’s longest running show (which is as old as the 12-year old channel now), is the classical music-based ‘Ragam Sangeetham’. The channel has introduced several variations to the show over the years, and the most recent of these will be the roping in of popular classical singer, S Soumya, as anchor. She will be on air from March 14, adding celebrity value to the show.