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Zee bets on the 8:00 pm slot.

01-July-2002
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Zee bets on the 8:00 pm slot.

Zee is all set to launch a daily soap, 'Kammal' from 2nd July at 8:00 p.m. The soap revolves around the classic good-girl-fighting-bad-world plot that Balaji Telefilms seems to have mastered.

What seems to be just another show on Zee, Kammal is actually what Zee is keeping its fingers crossed for. We take a closer look at the strategy behind the launch of the new show. But first, a perspective from Zee.

Says Partha Sinha, Director-Marketing, Zee TV, “The prime time is considered to be 8:30 to 11:00pm. We want to push the prime time to 8:00pm. Also, there is no point in airing the new program in the 9:00–11:00pm band, as there are already established properties there.”

Given that all the limelight currently, is on the 9:00p.m to 11:00p.m band, with soaps like ‘Kkusum’ and ‘Kutumb’ dominating the 9-10 slot on Sony and ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi…’ and ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar…’ dominating the 10-11 slot on Star Plus, it seems that the only hope left for Zee to gain any prime time viewership is to establish itself in the 8:00 p.m slot.

But with Zee all set to launch Kammal in the 8:00 pm slot, what's up on the competing channels.

Star Plus, the leader in the category has popular soaps like ‘Kalash’, ‘Son Pari’ and ‘Kundali’ on weekdays during the 8:00-8:30 p.m. time band. Sony on the other hand does not have any fixed properties. Re-runs of old programs, combined with film-based programs is what Sony uses to fill this slot. Zee on the other hand, has recently launched a show called ‘Kitne Kool Hain Hum’ again produced by K Queen Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms.

On the ratings charts though, among all the players, Star is the leading by miles. The average ratings delivered by Star during 8-8:30 p.m. in the two cities of Delhi and Mumbai amongst 15+, M/F audience is close to 3.0%. Although this is nowhere near the rating that ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi…’ manages to get, but is still ahead of the rivals, who manage a mere 1% rating during the slot.

At the moment, running relatively successfully on Zee is ‘Mehndi Tere Naam Ki’ and ‘Amanat’ during the 8:30-9:00pm time slot. Star though, has much stronger properties with ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’.

So would Zee’s latest soap be able to create another high viewership property during the slot? Given that a large part of the audience starts coming to television around 8:30 p.m. who are the people being targeted at 8 p.m.? These are the questions that obviously come to one’s mind.

“The idea is to target a slightly young audience as the 8 p.m. time is slightly more skewed towards the young audience. I feel that the young female can watch this soap with her mother while the father hasn’t returned home", says Sinha. Of course the victim of the development will be the not so old show ‘Kitne Kool Hain Hum’, which is being moved to the 7:30 - 8 p.m. slot.

Media buyers though have varied and interesting opinions about this new move by Zee. Says Srikant Raman, Media Director, Optimum Media Solutions - media division of Mudra, "I don’t know if ‘Kammal’ would be much different from the other soaps produced by Balaji. Star has very strong hold of the 8 to 9 p.m. time band. They have soaps like ‘Son Pari’, which are doing well. Star has paid a price for letting SET take 9 to 10pm time band. Whether letting Zee take the 8:00-9:00p.m. band be another mistake that Star would commit is something only future would tell. Zee has tried to increase their market share by launching JIKNH and Play Win. But if Kammal will get Zee its lost audience back, is something we have to wait and see.”

Only time will tell if this show will do Kamaal for Zee.

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