Zee Network has announced the official launch of Smile TV on the cable and satellite platform from September 12. The comedy channel that was available on the DTH platform in its initial phase, and then was brought on the cable platform, is set to offer viewers a slew of new programmes.
As far as numbers for the channel, so far is concerned, there isn’t much for Smile TV to show. However, coming as a complete comedy channel does mean targeting a niche audience and some more experimenting on Indian television. Speaking more on the positioning of the channel, Abhijit Saxena, Business Head, Smile TV, informs, “Smile TV is distinctly positioned as a 24-hour fun and entertainment channel. With new shows coming, it is all geared up with its new programming to offer something new to its viewers.”
Saxena explains that the programming is designed to attract viewers of all age groups. The five new shows set to make their mark on the channel include Yoyo, Kyunki Yeh Hai Hasya Kavi Muqabla, Kahani Mein Twist Hai, Hasne Bhi Do Yaaron and Ulta Pulta Ek Minute.
The programming of the channel comprises of various kinds of shows, from movies, and cartoons to sitcoms, stand up shows, joke sessions, fillers, music, game shows and kavi sammelans. The aim currently is to look at the family audience. Saxena shares, “We wanted to look beyond sitcoms. So, there will be comedy series in a daily soap format, game shows, comedy chat shows, new oriented comedy shows, all the different ways in which comedy can be presented on screen.”
Other programming initiatives in the pipelines are Just Smile Fillers, an interactive show called Laugh Line and comedy movies. Saxena explains that Smile’s aim is to offer the viewer only smiles, “The five new shows that we have planned include sub-genres of comedy like stand-up and spoofs. We are confident that Smile TV will live up to the expectation of its viewers.”
As far as competition is concerned, SAB TV, with its positioning of a humour channel and promise of ‘Only Smiles, No Tears,’ would be the closest rival. Looking at it from the ratings point of view again, though SAB TV doesn’t have large draws to its credits, it finds its place in a media plan due to the differentiated and loyal audience that it offers. From that point of view, Smile TV too would make sense on Indian television and as for how much sense? One would know that in just a matter of time.