Sony Entertainment Television is seeing a good run in the 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm band with programmes like ‘Kaisa Ye Pyaar Hai’ and ‘Fame Gurukul’ delivering. However, the channel’s overall primetime share hasn’t increased.
For Sony, the 8.00-9.00 pm band tells a good story. The new shows here are delivering numbers that the channel hasn’t seen in a long time. Balaji’s ‘Kaisa…’ rates anywhere between 2 plus and 3 plus TRPs for the channel, while reality show, ‘Fame Gurukul’, is also finally picking pulse. Consequently, Sony’s share in this block has steadily increased.
TAM Media Research shows that for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, the channel has increased from the 5 per cent share it had in the beginning of the year to the 8-10 per cent until week 31 to its present run of 10-13 per cent shares.
Channels like STAR Plus have faced problems here with shows like ‘Dekho Magar Pyaar Se’ not delivering and the strong player, ‘Kasautii Zindagi Kay’ seeing some of the lowest numbers it has in recent times. Even though in the last five weeks STAR Plus has picked up some numbers, the present share still averages at a 22 per cent, vis-à-vis the 25-30 per cent claim it had in the beginning of the year. The gap between the two channels has narrowed in this time slot.
Elaborating on the shows that had worked for the channel, Tarun Katial, Business Head, Sony, said, “Opening a new time band was very critical for us and these shows have achieved this. We haven’t seen this kind of success in these slots in a long time and this is very encouraging.”
Playing at a steady 3 plus and delivering an occasional 4 plus TVR, ‘Fame Gurukul’ has given the channel consistent viewership in the 8.30 pm slot, which prior to the launch of the show was largely in decimals.
Some sections of the industry view this as below expectation due to the constant comparison made with ‘Indian Idol’ and the success that ‘Fame Academy’ saw internationally. However, for Sony, the show has attained its objective and is set to see better numbers in the next few weeks, as it reaches finale.
Unlike ‘Kaisa…’, a problem that ‘Fame…’ faces is that it is a finite show and the channel has to be prepared for a new initiative soon. Giving the channel’s view on this, Katial said, “We have to move towards seasonal programming and this is a challenge we aren’t going to shy away from.”
Another challenge that Sony faces is the 9.00-10.00 pm band that houses its most popular brands – ‘Kkusum’ and ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’. Both shows that were once in the range of consistent 4 to 5 plus TRPs, now barely stay in the 2 plus and 3 plus mark. Barring weekends, the gap between STAR Plus and Sony was always the least in this time slot.
However, the scene has changed now with Sony’s loss of viewership here. Regarding the way forward, Katial offered, “We have great plans for this time band. There are new shows in the pipeline and there is ‘Indian Idol 2’ coming on air soon. In all, there is quite a lot happening that you will hear from us in the next few weeks.”
Will we see new shows coming in the 9.00-10.00 pm band or changes in the existing ones? Without offering specific details, Katial replied, “A combination of both”.
However, as is known apart from ‘Indian Idol’, the channel is in the process of bringing ‘Fear Factor’ on its weekends and has developed various other properties like ‘Paisa Bhari Padega’ and the new Shrey Guleri show.
Since Sony currently has no original afternoon programming and none of its slots are offering steady numbers like the 8.00-9.00 pm band, the overall channel share for Sony throws a horizontal graph (minus the peaks in the ‘Indian Idol’ weeks in the February and March period), keeping it at a 10 per cent channel share in the 8.00 pm to 11.00 pm time band – more or less the same that it was at the beginning of the year.
Will this situation change for the better with the new shows? One will know sooner than later. But given that channels like STAR One and Sahara One are also giving the industry something to talk about now, Sony might want to do something drastic soon.