STAR India is taking weekends very seriously. Apart from the decision to bring ‘KBC 2’ on the weekends, STAR Plus will also see two of its shows going Monday to Friday and the channel has also planned another Friday to Saturday on 10.00 pm – all action effective August 5, 2005.
Following in the same league as ‘Kasautii Zindagi Kay’, ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Kahiin Tho Hoga’ will also be extended to Fridays in August. In the 10.00 pm slot, the channel has planned another Hats Off Production show, which too would be a Friday to Sunday like ‘KBC 2’. More initiatives are planned in the Saturday and Sunday slots ranging from format to dance shows – in effect making STAR weekends, especially Fridays, a difficult day to combat.
‘Kasautii…’ was one of the first initiatives to consolidate STAR weekends, when the show was made a Monday to Friday from June 24, 2005. If ratings are anything to go by, the channel has seen the Friday audience delivering the same viewing pattern as weekdays audience do. The show has delivered 11.97, as per TAM Media Research for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets.
“‘Kasautii… is a great product and we were expecting these numbers,” says Deepak Segal, EVP, Content and Communication, STAR India. “’Kyunki…’ and ‘Kahiin…’ also enjoy the same kind of following and we are expecting the viewers to react to them in the same manner on Fridays, as they do on weekdays.”
Segal is tight-lipped about the new show that will take the 10.00 pm slot from August 5, 2005 on weekends, saying that it is too early to divulge more details on it. Nonetheless, he said, “We created many properties on the back of ‘KBC’ that kept bringing viewers back to us. That has done well for the weekdays and now for the weekends we need to do the same thing. ‘Main Hoon Na’ and now ‘Kasautii’ indicate that there is weekend viewership in the same range as weekdays. The objective now to build properties that will bring in these viewers.”
Ajay Vidyasagar, Marketing & Communications Head for STAR India, is also very optimistic about the weekend plans. The next phase of ‘KBC 2’ marketing will commence next week. “Four weeks before the show, we will begin the next phase of marketing for KBC 2. There are still a few last-minute details that we need to wrap up before we can speak more on it,” Vidyasagar said.
Even though Vidyasagar, too, like Segal, doesn’t speak much on the new 10.00 pm weekend show, he does divulge more on the plans for ‘Kyunki’ and ‘Kahiin’. “The weekday viewership for STAR is 60 to 70 per cent. It makes sense to use the Network power to tell the viewer about the extension of these shows. As for the action around the other initiatives, you will know soon enough.”
The intention to strengthen STAR Plus’ weekends for ‘KBC 2’ is very clear, and ‘KBC 2’ itself is expected to deliver once again for STAR India. In the present situation, where channels like Sony and Zee are also doing well in the weekends, the story five weeks from now promises to be an interesting one.