Zee Telugu might have just turned one on May 18, 2006, but it is already on the fast track as far as TRPs are concerned. Another feather in its cap is the exclusive rights that the channel has bagged to telecast live the Santosham Film Awards. The star studded award function will be held on July 30, 2006.
The Awards were constituted in 2004 by ‘Santosham’, a popular Telugu film magazine, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary in July this year. The Santosham Film Awards ceremony has been a star-studded affair right from the word go, with the who’s who of Telugu cinema in attendance, hence the event is expected to garner high TRPs for Zee Telugu.
Speaking on why the Awards should strike a chord with the viewers, Zee’s Promotional Manager, Kalyani. said, “People in Andhra Pradesh are movie crazy. Along the coastal line, film stars are revered like gods. Besides, there is ample viewer participation to attract a large audience. Till now only the judges had the prerogative to make the final choice, but now three important categories – Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Director – will be chosen through SMS voting. Also, 50 participants picked out through a lucky draw will be given free passes to attend the event. The remaining 47-50 categories of Awards will be selected by a jury comprising actors, actresses, producers, and directors.”
Zee Telugu has carved a niche for itself in Telugu television viewing, braving fierce competition from all quarters, especially Gemini. Said Kalyani, “There are 11-12 cable and satellite channels in Hyderabad competing for the numero uno spot. We are only into our second year, and we are vying for the No. 2 or No. 3 spot. Live shows are our forte. Be it Chiranjeevi’s fecilitation or cricket matches between Tollywood actors and cricketers, we transport viewers to the venue and offer them a ringside view of the proceedings.”
Commenting on the programming strategy, Kalyani said, “Women oriented shows are our trump cards. Shows like ‘Gold Rush’, presented by Uday Bhanu, target primarily women and youth. ‘Meeintivanta’ and ‘Maya Bazaar’ are the other women-centric shows on the channel.”
With Zee Telugu, Zee Telefilms made its foray into South India. It has a global reach of over 130 countries, and Zee Telugu, too, reaches all households in these 130 countries. With Telugu segment constituting 13 per cent of total Indian viewers, spread over 11 channels, Zee Telugu is trying everything conceivable to grow by leaps and bounds.