Yet another love story is ready to make its debut on Indian television. After Kkavyanjali on STAR Plus, it is Sony Entertainment Television's turn to launch its own love story, 'Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai', on April 29 at 8 pm.
Love is certainly in the air for general entertainment channels.
Media planners, unfortunately, are not so excited. Anita Nayyar, executive director, north and east, Starcom Worldwide, says that historically, love stories haven't done great on Indian television unlike comedy.
The soaps have just about managed an average viewership. She cites the examples of Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chand - the soap started off as a love story - which got an average TVR between 5-7. Similarly, Kkavyanjali, which had a great opening with a TVR of above 10, but later stabilized to an average TVR of around 5.
Nayyar is hopeful that Balaji Telefilms-produced 'Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai' would initially do well. She says, "After all, the show is being aggressively promoted through a 360-degree marketing campaign. And, Sony is known for its promotional strategies. However, in the long run, it will be the storyline which will decide the success of the show."
Kajal Thakur, regional director, Optimum Media Solutions, points out that love stories represent more of a positioning gimmick than content because it creates an interest among viewers, which in turn generates high viewership in the initial weeks.
She says, "In the past, we have seen soaps starting off as love stories be it 'Kkutumb' on Sony or 'Kahin to Hoga' on STAR Plus. Later, they have all migrated to the family drama genre." Thakur adds, "It's very difficult to drag a love story on TV unlike a movie, where the storyline ends in three hours."
Tarun Katiyal, business head, Sony Entertainment Television is hopeful that the new show will cut across all socio-economic groups (SEC A-E).
Concurs Thakur of OMS. She says, "This looks like a clear possibility as we have seen that love stories in movies are popular across all SEC groups - be it in metros or smaller towns."
However, some planners such as Nayyar of Starcom feel that Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai is too upmarket and viewers in smaller towns and lower SECs may not relate to it.
Katiyal clarifies. "The male lead of Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai is a popstar and may project an upmarket lifestyle. But the female protagonist is a small-town girl. Certainly, viewers from smaller towns will relate to her," he says.
According to Katiyal, although the show is aimed at viewers across a wide age group from 4-40, love stories are particularly popular among young viewers and especially teenagers. Thus, the early evening slot of 8 pm should suit them, he believes.
Thakur of OMS offers another reasoning. She says, "This programme has been strategically slotted at 8 pm. First, the show will not directly compete with the Kyunki's and Kahani's and secondly, this time slot will provide better sampling opportunities for the show."
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