For eight long years, I have been hearing the best of television minds speak of the weekend audience. It is a difficult audience, agreed, since these are not people who are guaranteed to have a steady viewing pattern; but there has to be a pattern. And people have taken steps on the basis of their observations. So, STAR India came with a whole weekend package. The other GECs have movies and events lined up but there is nothing consistent and steady enough in their weekend blocks to allow any kind of appointment viewing on weekends.
Television seems to have miserably failed in creating a staple offering that people could have looked forward to in weekends.
Now, weekend viewership is a lot of channel surfing and the shift from one set of repeats, boring, boring repeats to another set. Thank God for some shows – Sony’s ‘CID Khatarnak Mujrim’ and ‘Adaalat’ and ‘Chandragupt Maurya’ on Imagine TV, a little bit on Star World and that is it. At least they are originals with some semblance of a plot that ends at the end of the show.
This is also the part where I question DTH operators on why they take as much time as they do to make some channels available to their subscribers. What is the point of putting all those new English GECs and movie channels when you are not going to make it easy for viewers to access it!?
The other thing I have not understood is why the creative fraternity finding it this difficult to figure out something sensible for weekends, when they have cracked weekdays this well. Is it because they think that weekends don’t have enough yields to make for a good return on investment? If that was true, why have media planners/buyers and advertisers told us on every instance possible that weekend is a gap in television schedules. That weekend audiences are being wasted today on repeats of shows, repeats of events, annual events, award shows and things that don’t really make for a loyal audience?
When the buyers are saying this, then what is holding back the creators and the sellers?
Weekends comprise two out of seven days in a week – they ideally should be important. STAR Plus’ present weekend attempts may not have reaped desired results, but I am hoping the channel really keeps giving weekend a shot. And I hope the other channels can take some sensible weekend steps too.
Till then, I am hoping I never get stuck at home for an entire weekend, depending only on the idiot box!