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Star Plus redefines Prime Time

11-February-2004
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Star Plus redefines Prime Time

For those who regularly check the Star report card, the unusually high ratings in the late night slot are not a big surprise. The channel seems to have altered the viewing habits of people. The night fest that begins at 8 p.m., stretches well beyond 11.30 p.m.

According to TAM ratings, 4 + all individuals, Sec ABC, Hindi-speaking markets (data taken for the last 4 weeks), Kahiin To Hoga (11 to 11.30 p.m.) garners 8.76 in the first week, 9.07 in the second, 9.66 in the third week and 9.49 in the fourth. For 15 + females, Sec ABC, Hindi Speaking markets, Kahiin To Hoga gets 11.65, 11.39, 12.50 and 11.64 respectively. It’s interesting to note that a show that’s positioned at 11 p.m. on Star fares better than Sony’s channel driver Jassi at 9.30 p.m. Jassi happens to be the biggest TVR generator on any Hindi entertainment channel beyond Star Plus.

Does it then mean that Prime Time has been redefined? Kahin Kissi Roz, the show to follow Kahiin To Hoga delivers ratings to the tune of 4-5 as well. No mean feat that. Deepak Segal, Senior VP (Content and Communication) Star Plus comments, “I wouldn’t attribute Star’s success to any fixed formula. We have been lucky to take on shows that come with an absorbing story line and the capacity to deliver ratings. Kahiin To Hoga is a wonderful show, it has a new and novel storyline, carefully constructed characters and a dedicated star cast. Plus, it’s a well-executed serial and the production quality shows.”

Segal believes that Prime Time cannot be defined based on time band any more. He states, “It is my belief that prime time needn’t be slotted in any manner. You can launch an absorbing soap even at the strike of 12 and beyond, just as long as it holds considerable appeal and has the ability to garner viewership. The crucial question here is - would it catch the eye of the people?”

Channel stickiness and the fact that shows in the 8 to 10 slot attract high viewership make sampling of serials that follow a probability. “Programmes such as Kyunki and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki rule the ratings mart. These shows coax viewers to hold on to the channel for what’s coming ahead. Hence, a show likes Kahiin To Hoga has plenty of scope to generate ratings and encourage viewership,” says Segal.

Is Star guilty of changing the living pattern of people? Segal grins, “No. We are just reflecting the changes that are already evident in society. In metros, people prefer watching television until the wee hours and a large chunk comprises women, who after a long day’s work need to put their feet up and relax. We are just catering to the existent demand.”

Amit Ray, Vice President, OMS, Mudra discusses Star’s extraordinary ability to garner ratings even on the late night shows. He asserts, “There was a time when prime time culminated at 10.00 p.m. but today, you cannot put a fixed boundary on it. Kahiin To Hoga and Kahin Kissi Roz have displayed that viewers can stay awake late for good television soaps. The premium that planners pay on prime time is immaterial as long as the shows deliver good ratings. In Star’s case, it has more than justified its cause.”

He adds, “Prime time is totally dependent on the shows channels bring along. On all the channels with the exception of Star, the main course diminishes by 10.30 p.m. which is why prime time ends at that point.”

Harish Shriyan, Senior Vice-President, Mediacom says, “For us, it’s all a part of a package deal. If it delivers, it’s part of prime time. Therefore Kahiin To Hoga, placed within the late night slot, is very much a parcel of prime time.” He explains the success of Kahiin To Hoga in a nutshell, “There is absolutely no competition for that particular show within the same time band. Why wouldn’t it rock in TRPs?”

Prime Time. Can you stretch it still further? As for now, Star Plus has redefined Prime Time until midnight. What is more, viewers as well as media planners, are game for it. While other channels are trying to put their act together in the 9 to 10.30 p.m. slot, Star Plus has raised the bar, yet again.

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