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SAB TV to be re-launched as Hindi mass channel on November 7 to complement Sony

28-October-2005
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SAB TV to be re-launched as Hindi mass channel on November 7 to complement Sony

Come November 7 and SAB TV will have a new face, new logo and a whole host of new programmes with ‘Lo Kal Lo Baat’ coming as the driver show for the channel. The channel has just appointed Vikas Bahl as Senior VP, Content and Communication and Business Head of the channel.

According to Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, SET India, SAB TV was missing the quality of a SET channel, and now to make it a part of the SET family, the channel had been given a new look. The logo has been changed to match the SET logos of Sony and MAX, and the channel has been made a lot more vibrant with red and blue colour combinations. What is more important is that not only has the look and feel been changed, SET has also designed a clear role for SAB TV now.

The channel has been re-launched as a Hindi general entertainment channel with a clear line demarcating it from Sony TV, at least in terms of the target profile and the areas of interest.

Where Sony is looking at the SEC AB 15-34 audience, which has a skew to the female TG, SAB programming is designed to bring in more of the male target. Also, where SET concentrated on the AB SEC, SAB would be more mass looking at the BC and D audience. SAB’s aim is to be present and bring in more from the Hindi heartland and also address the older TG, that is, the 25-45 age group.

Said N P Singh, COO of the Network, “There has to be a difference in the areas of operation and with this, the two channels give us a complete all India coverage. There are too many advertisers who talk to the masses, advertise through the year and do not really fit the Sony profile. SAB would be the perfect platform for these advertisers.”

In addition to the comedy genre, a lot more will be seen on the channel now. SET has worked around SAB in a planned manner, where in the first stage that the channel was encrypted to be made a pay channel with distribution in place. Following this, the focus on the TG was sharpened and the modest growth levels planned for the channel were achieved. With the decision of making it a mass channel, the positions of both channels were crystallised.

In the new line up, original programming is present in the 8.30 pm (where ‘Lo Kal Lo Baat’ comes in) to 11 pm band, with the exception of the ‘Office Office’ strip, which is on re-runs at present. Singh informed that this would be replaced soon.

On asked if there was a possibility for competition between Sony and SAB, Dasgupta asserted, “When the targets are different, that shouldn’t be a problem. If STAR One is competition to STAR Plus, then yes I can say Sony and SAB would be competing, but I don’t see much of a problem on that front.”

SAB TV’s re-launching is a significant step for Sony Entertainment Television. The roping in of a new head and giving the channel a clear direction does give reasons to watch the progress of this channel. Dasgupta’s aim is to bring SAB TV in the top three. In the present state of affairs, that is a tall order. Whether the channel will make a turnaround, promises to be an interesting watch.

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