Industry stalwarts insist time and again, on the need to experiment with programming on Indian television to get the objective of differentiated content. Sahara Manoranjan has taken this initiative a step ahead and has decided to launch a three-dimensional serial titled ‘Hello Mr Bhoot’. In order to ensure the perfect experience of 3D viewing, the channel has planned to distribute six crore pairs of glasses across India.
Sahara Manoranjan has been trying to induce differentiation in its programming for quite some time. Explains Triptii Sharma, Senior Vice President, Programming, Sahara Manoranjan, “The channel’s effort is definitely to give something that is not available on other channels. Even in this case, we were looking at various innovative concepts. 3D as a concept is new to Indian audience. With Dhiraj Kumar’s Abracadabra making its way, we thought this would be a good time to test the concept on television.”
‘Hello Mr Bhoot’ is planned for an August 2004 release. The show is scheduled for a Friday evening slot. Janvi Entertainment’s duo Dushant Katalia and Joy Augustine have been entrusted with the production responsibilities. One major challenge that ‘Hello Mr Bhoot’ faces is the 3D glasses. While the programme itself is complete, the arrangement for the glasses has been keeping the release on hold till August. Speaking on how the channel plans to handle this, Sharma informs, “We are planning to distribute six crore pairs of glasses initially across the country – looking at four pairs of glasses per household.”
On how the channel intends to accomplish this, she replies, “As you know, we are into Para banking and we have various other marketing joint ventures as well. This will help us in distributing the glasses. We are still working on the logistics part of the exercise, identifying various channels we can take to ensure that people across the country get these glasses.”
Does the channel plan to make this an on-going activity? “It has to be,” says Sharma, “We will have to ensure that in case if there is a wear-and-tear or any other problem, the viewer is given a new pair. So, yes, we have to be very active on ground to ensure that this part of the deal works well.”
The idea itself is indeed a pioneering one on Indian television. However, the success of this show largely depends on the availability of 3D glasses. Substantial inputs on the channel’s part would be required to ascertain that it reaches the Indian households and the right number of members in each of the households.