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STAR to extend primetime band with new 8-pm daily

21-July-2004
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STAR to extend primetime band with new 8-pm daily

‘Dekho Magar Pyaar Se’ is ready to hit the Indian television and as per channel officials, the new half hour daily will ensure its share of voice with the viewers. To accommodate the new show, the channel has let go three of its half-hour weeklies and changed the timings of its kid’s programme, ‘Sonpari’. Bought from the same format company as ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’, the new show has commanded reasonable spends from the channel and an array for fresh faces. The show is scheduled for launch on July 26.

For the channel officials, the new show is like a waft of fresh air and the marketing activities undertaken aim at ensuring that the viewers feel the same. Dwelling on the marketing strategy, Ajay Vidyasagar, Head, Marketing, STAR India, says, “We are doing substantial on-air promotions but at the same time, we are also doing a lot of on-ground activities as well.”

As per Vidyasagar, ‘Dekho…’ will make its marks in all the metros and major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow amongst the others, “The activities around the show will match the size of the protagonist of the show,” he says.

A point that is brought again by the content team but in a different light, comes alive in the words of Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Director, Content and Communication, STAR India. “We are in a position today where our programmes just don’t have to generate ratings but also convey a social message,” she says, adding: “The youth today has taken too many lessons of trying to be someone else. With this show, they can be told that it is ok to be yourself, irrespective of your size. You don’t have to change that just to get love in life. More importantly, there is a lot to be learnt from the lead, Nikki’s story.”

Kejriwal explains that the storyline encompasses a message of positivism, “At least people can’t complain that we aren’t giving them differentiation in our programmes.” The channel has not given any discounts in ensuring the quality in production. From shooting at Royal Palms to the look and feel of the programme, every aspect has been treated carefully.

Referring to the changes in the content line-up, Deepak Segal, Sr VP, Content and Communication, Star India elucidates, “Khichdi is going to come back. Krishna Arjun is a difficult-to-produce show with multi-locale shooting, so we thought we should give it a rest and Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar has the same flavour as this show, so it made sense to take it off now. With Dekho…, since the story demanded a daily format, we decided to change the scheduling in this manner.”

Answering to a question, as to whether this is in reaction to Sony’s move to launch two new shows in the same slot, Segal replies, “This is a competitive field. Actions and reactions will take place. I believe we have a clear winner in our hands but more importantly, this is the logical action we have to take for our development and we are doing so.”

In terms of ratings, he says that he expects ‘Sonpari’ to deliver better in the weekend slot and as for the new show, a five or six in terms of TVR is not bad. “Clearly this is an experiment. Primetime begins at 8.30 pm but we want to extend it to 8.00 pm now, so let’s see how it works out,” he adds.

New shows launches is becoming interestingly frequent on Indian television, which only indicates the growth of the medium. However, one mustn’t forget that of all the launches that took places in 2004, which is almost seven between STAR and Sony alone, none except for two are delivering. Despite this, the space never ceases to be an interesting one to watch.

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