November 14, 2005 witnessed substantial amount of activity in Hindi general entertainment channels with STAR One launching ‘India Calling’ in its 9.30 pm slot and ‘Darna Mana Hai’ in the 10.00 pm slot. On the same day, Sahara One launched ‘Kittu… Sab Jantii Hai’ in its 9.30 pm slot. Media experts aren’t really excited with at least the opening numbers of the shows.
TAM Media Research shows that for the target C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, ‘India Calling’ on STAR One, which plays from Monday to Wednesday opened at 0.92 and moved on to 0.96 and 0.99 in the following two episodes. ‘Darna Mana Hai’, on the other hand, which is a four-episode a week serial, began with 0.9 and then moved to 0.86, 0.7 and 0.75.
Giving a point of view on these, Starcom’s, Head-Broadcast Investments, Manoj Malkani, expressed, “These are really big properties coming from STAR One and there are great expectations from the channel given the performance of other recently launched shows like ‘Laughter Champion’ and ‘Nach Baliye’, which is rating at a 5-plus currently. Also, STAR One has made it clear that it is competing with channels like Sony and Zee. In that light, these are low numbers.”
Agreeing with him, Navin Kathuria, Media Group Head, Broadcast, Media Direction, said, “It is not really surprising though, as these are both done to death genre. It does appear at this point that new genres or experimental shows seem to working on STAR One – examples are ‘Laughter Champion’ and ‘Nach Baliye’ and ‘TGILC’ earlier.”
The reaction towards ‘Kituu…’ is also in a similar vein. ‘Kituu…’ opened at 1.01 and then dropped to 0.56 and 0.48 to come back at 0.88 in the fourth episode. “The show is good, but I think it is the small base of the channel that has created a problem here,” expressed Kathuria, adding, “These are low numbers. 1 plus is still a good opening, but the numbers after that aren’t very encouraging.”
Malkani added here, “The fact that it picks up later still leaves room for expectations though. Plus the show is being marketed well.”
The positive point perhaps about all the three shows is the fact that there still are expectations around the shows, given the fact that the respective channels are still aggressively marketing the shows.
“In the case of STAR One, even if the shows touch 2 plus, they are home – the expectations were more or less on that line in any case, but these shows have the backing of the STAR Network when it comes to marketing, and that isn’t something one should discount.”
In regards to ‘Kituu…’, Kathuria added, “The show is even set to see a new angle now, where the main story begins. If you see examples like ‘Woh Rehne Waali…’, you know that a show can catch up even weeks after it has been on-air!”
The channel is very excited about Kituu…’s numbers. Said Purnendu Bose, COO, Sahara One TV, “Woh... had opened at 0.8 and so ‘Kituu…’ is great opening number for us. Plus the show picks up again in the fourth episode. We are very encouraged with these numbers and we see it doing very well for our 9.30 pm band.”
Whether these shows will create any problems for yet another new show in the 9.30 pm slot – ‘Ek Ladki…’ on Sony – would be a great watch. However, media experts asserted that, 9.30 pm was a slot that was already warmed up for Sony and even though competition was tough, it shouldn’t create too many problems for the channel.
Just another week to know what happens on that front and whether these shows pick up with the audience going forward.