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Star Plus reshuffles weekday scheduling

12-January-2009
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Star Plus reshuffles weekday scheduling

Star Plus is all geared for its first new show of the year ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. The show is one of the few daily serials that have a presenting sponsor. Star Plus has put significant marketing muscle behind the show and has effected some changes in its weekday line-up to house the show.

While the channel’s top-rated property ‘Bidaai’ goes back to being a half-hour daily, both the shows would be extended from Mondays to Fridays. STAR India’s Senior Creative Director Vivek Bahl believes has ‘Yeh Rishta’ has the potential to be bigger than ‘Bidaai’. As is known, a couple of months back, Star Plus had changed its scheduling and had made ‘Bidaai’ a one-hour daily. The decision helped the channel in maintaining its distance from number two player Colors.

Elaborating the rationale behind the changes in ‘Bidaai’s’ duration, Bahl said, “It was a host of reasons but right on top was the marketing strategy. We wanted to attract more eyeballs to ‘Bidaai’ and get audiences that haven’t seen the show also to sample it. We decided to do it for one episode, but I suggested at that time if we could do it for 16 episodes. It was really a long marketing exercise then but some of the incidents, like the worker’s strike, delayed the launch of our new show and we ended up with the one-hour format until now.”

Star Plus had once tried to put ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ also on Fridays when it was looking at strengthening its weekend block with fiction shows. At that time, Kyunki’s ratings dropped every Friday. Speaking on what Star Plus was expecting from this decision now, Bahl said, “Television viewing has changed immensely since then, and there are a lot more viewers on weekends now. We are also bringing in some changes with our shows like ‘Baa, Bahoo aur Baby’. When we would be done with that, we would have reinvented our weekend block.”

Bahl explained that at present, quite a few episodes of the weekend shows would be dropped due to specials and other weekend non-fiction programming. He said, “We would sort it out so that these shows have a regular slot that doesn’t get dropped due to a special.”

Bahl is excited about ‘Yeh Rishta...’. He stated, “I wanted to upgrade myself with ‘Yeh Rishtaa’. I still wanted to do my real shows but make them look high-gloss and so that it looks bigger, and sets a standard in terms of look too. My expectations from ‘Ye Rishta...’ are huge. I would be disappointed if it did not turn out to be bigger than Bidaai.”

The 360-degree marketing activities designed for the promotion of ‘Yeh Rishta...’ include on-ground, PR, print, radio, cable and internet activations in markets like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Indore, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Mumbai . A number of these activities will be aimed at married couples. The events would culminate at the Taj Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.

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