This summer, it
seems, afternoons will be hotter as channels such as STAR Plus and Sony Entertainment Television (SET) are gearing up to strengthen their position in this time slot with new sets of programming.
Weekday afternoons have always been vital for the general entertainment channels targeting women. In fact, this is the time band that is instrumental in general entertainment channels moving up or down the ladder and gaining the No.2 slot.
Even as leader STAR Plus is trying to counter the stiff competition it is suddenly facing from channels such as ZEE and SaharaOne (all credit goes to its India cricket telecast), Sony is struggling to regain its viewership, which it lost when it focused too much on reality shows.
As per TAM figures (C&S, 4+, 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm) analysed by agencyfaqs!, in Week 13 and 14, SaharaOne was close to the market leader STAR Plus with a channel share of 30.11 and 29.93, respectively. In comparison, STAR Plus managed a channel share of 49.59 per cent and 48.29 per cent, respectively.
However, in all these, ZEE still managed to have a consistent share of 11.77 and 12.46 per cent, respectively.
In fact, the weeks before and after cricket on SaharaOne, ZEE got a channel share of 16.05 per cent and 12.46 per cent, respectively.
But in all these weeks (Week 11-16) SET has been the one in dire straits, as it could only manage an average channel share of 6.01 per cent in the 1.00 pm-4.00 pm time band.
So it's all the more important for SET to beef-up its afternoon time band programming. The channel has, in fact, introduced two news shows - 'Kabhi To Nazar Milao' and 'Rishton Ki Dorr' - from May 15, in the afternoon band between 12.00 noon-3.00 pm. Currently, the channel has repeat programmes during this time slot.
'Kabhi to Nazar Milao' is the story of a young girl who has the inner strength to clear hurdles and challenges in her way.
N P Singh, COO, SET India, explains the need for revamping the afternoon slot. "We are in the process of unravelling a new strategy to take the channel to the top. Our first step was to promote the weekend band with 'Shukar Hai Shukarvaar Hai', the next was to introduce two new shows in the weekday band. Now in the third step, we are consolidating afternoon programming with original programming with fairly new concepts."
On the other hand, STAR Plus, is introducing the concept of celebration of womanhood in association with Kurkure. During the 'STAR Dopahar Ek se Teen Contest', viewers are promised gold worth Rs 1 lakh if they answer the questions asked during the shows.
Shailja Kejriwal, senior creative director, STAR Plus, says, "The concept is in line with the initiative to revamp and energise the afternoon band, which needed some refreshing appeal. Without adding any new shows, there will be lot of changes within the shows."
While 'Kumkum' has already seen a generation jump, 'Saarthi' will see a change in the storyline. But why is the channel paying attention to the afternoon band now?
Kejriwal quips, "There have always been changes in the storylines of different programmes based on viewers' preferences. When the protagonist of 'Bhabhi' left, we wanted a new protagonist, but not as a replacement. So, we introduced the concept of 'Rang Mile', where all the women characters of the afternoon band came together to show the various aspects of women's lives and introduce a new protagonist in 'Bhabhi', who was more contemporary and vibrant."
ZEE executives, however, said that they are not in a plan to bring in any change in programming as of now.
But now with SaharaOne ready to telecast cricket (EurAsia Cup) again, it might be tougher for the other channels.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!