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Sony waivers simple weekends. The Katial effect?

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Sony waivers simple weekends. The Katial effect?

For Sony, the last quarter of 2003 went off well. But from December 28, 2003 to January 31, 2004 the channel had no such luck. If the ratings of weekdays and weekends are observed, the latter is performing better. Interestingly however, that is the area the channel has chosen to work on under the leadership of Tarun Katial, EVP, Programming and Response, SET.

The weekend graph for Sony for the Hindi speaking market for C&S 4+ in the given period is a positive one, minor drops notwithstanding. The average TVR is 11.07 as against 12.3 in the preceding five weeks. These are better figures when compared to the channel share for 8.30 p.m. to 11.00 p.m.

In the first week for this time band, the share dropped from 8.65 per cent to 7.63 in week two. In week three, there is a marginal increase to 7.71. Week four and five show a dip to 7.52 and 6.87 respectively. The fact that the channel share on the whole has dropped reflects that weekends have fared better than weekdays.

Jassi… no longer grossing its initial 7 and 8 TVRs might have led to this fall. Katial expresses that the channel is rejuvenating its content and the first effects of these will be seen on February 27, 2004. However, only on weekends as of now.

Most of its weekend shows like Heena, CID, Devi, Crime Patrol, Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat and the most recent, Kkoi Dil Mein Hai are delivering for the channel. Even in the current ratings, the TVRs of these programmes aren’t discouraging. Though there are drops in the average TVRs for January in comparison to the previous months, the fall is minimal.

Says Katial, “We are strengthening our current programming. Devi has always been doing well for the channel. It’s been there in the top 50s and is one of the better brands on Sony. By making it an hour show, we are capitalising on that. Heena has lived its life. It’s seeing the last page of the book now, so it makes sense to replace it.”

Similarly, CID will see the entry of a new member bringing in an undercurrent of interpersonal relation on the show. Crime Patrol too will have a completely new feel with a new anchor. “Crime Patrol is like public service. We want it to be interactive and the strongest platform to educate people about safety and security,” Katial explains. Changes will be seen in Kya Hadsaa… too but the channel doesn’t want to speak about it until next month.

The strategy evidently is to build on present strengths. Looking at the weekday line-up again, 9.00 to 10.00 is the only slot on Sony that garners decent figures. With Jassi’s ratings becoming static, even the weekdays need immediate attention. The new 10 p.m. show Yeh Meri Life Hai is a step in this direction. Kkusum going into fast forward mode is another.

At the moment, the channel is willing to talk about weekends only but sources close to the situation state that there is a lot on the cards for the weekdays as well. Would Katial’s presence make the battle more interesting? We don’t know yet, but one thing is clear - the man means business.


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