Altering the weekend line-up is increasingly becoming a regular feature on the Sony scheduling agenda. To add to the recent changes, the channel has now decided to wrap up two of its weekend programmes – ‘Kkehna Hai Kuch Mujhko’ and ‘King Aassman Ka Ek Raja’. Saturday 8 pm will now have an action movie and the other shows on the day will be moved to Friday.
Friday and Saturday, 8 to 9 pm band for Sony currently aired the half-hourlies, ‘King…’ and ‘Kkehna….’. On Saturday 9 pm, ‘Saakshi’ followed these serials with ‘Kkoi Dil Mein Hai’ on the 10 pm slot. Come July 17 and Sony bids adieu to these shows. From the following week ‘Kkoi Dil Mein Hai’ and ‘Saaksshi’ will be cut down to half-hour formats, where the former takes the Friday 8 pm slot and the later goes to 8.30 pm, reformatting the Friday line-up.
As far as ratings are concerned, both ‘King’ and ‘Kkehna’ failed to deliver any numbers for the channel. In its entire term on television, the former crossed the one-mark only thrice. As for ‘Kkehna…’, while the show did get the occasional two-plus ratings, in the later stages crossing one seemed like an achievement for the serial. In essence, replacing both the shows seemed to be the only choice the channel was left with.
Looking at the Saturday shows now, barring a few exceptions, ‘Saaksshi’ has delivered a one-plus figure for the channel. ‘Kkoi’, on the other hand, witnessed more action with changing slots. The show was recently brought on to the Saturday 10 pm slot from its initial Sunday placing, which at least in terms of numbers, didn’t help the channel much. The show has largely played in the one-plus numbers. Nonetheless, it has thrown up occasional two-plus ratings for the channel.
Again ratings suggest that the Sunday movie slot has paid off for Sony where some movies like ‘Tere Naam’ and ‘Baghban’ have given six-plus figures. The strategy behind the current line-up does indicate that the channel is looking at strengthening its Friday slot. However, it also shows that Sony’s attempt to tap on a steady weekend audience has not quite paid off.
“Traditionally, movies have worked better on weekends than anything else,” says Madan Mohan Mohapatra, Investment Director, The MediaEdge, “However, I think that instead of beginning the movies at 8 pm, the channel could have placed some content in the 8 to 9 pm band on Saturday.”
Nonetheless, Mohapatra feels that the whole change in itself should work well for the channel. “Sony is relatively strong on Fridays. With this move, they can increase the 9 to 11 pm domination to 8 to 11 pm. Also, the Saturday shows on Friday can deliver two benefits for the channel – it can bring in new viewers in that slot and it can get additional viewers for the subsequent slots,” he observes.
“Now Sony has lower production cost going in the slot,” adds CR Mallikarjundas, Media Director, Starcom, “They should be able to manage the numbers that the shows were giving. So, that’s a benefit. However, I think the key is to see how long will they go with the Saturday movie. What remains to be seen if this is a stopgap treatment.”
Coming back to the point on weekend audience, ‘Kkehna…’ has been acclaimed time and again to be a good, differentiated product on Indian television. The channel did place it on a difficult slot, as weekends are not working well for any channel currently. What is worth noticing, however, is that despite the confidence, the channel showed in the property, it didn’t even think of dabbling with it on any other slot before wrapping it up.