STAR One, which & #BANNER1 & # claimed to have reached out to 71 per cent of the nationwide population in the first three months of its launch, was facing 'disengagement' with cable operators in some parts of Greater Mumbai.
The cable operators were threatened with the launch of Tata Sky DTH, in which STAR India is a joint venture partner. Now, STAR Officials claim that the issue has been resolved and that the cable operators are convinced that STAR had nothing to do with Tata Sky DTH.
Amidst the tussle between the channel and the cable operators, STAR One lost its presence in the prime band and was shifted to the hyper band. When asked why of all the STAR channels, STAR One was given this treatment, Ajay Vidyasagar, executive V-P, marketing, STAR India, said, "Maybe because STAR One is a strong channel and a strong rival for the other channels."
According to the channel, the distribution problem reflected in its all-India ratings. Its viewership ratings in the HSM (Hindi speaking market) dropped by 30 per cent due to the drop in the Mumbai ratings. Vidyasagar says that because of this problem, many of its new programmes such as 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge Dwitiya' ('TGILC 2'), 'Heart Beat' and 'Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka' did not work too well.
On the other hand, the tricky situation opened up some new insights for the channel. According to Vidyasagar, the belief that STAR One was an up-market channel catering to the Mumbai audience has been proven wrong. The channel's 'TGILC 2' has been very popular in places such as Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, with ratings as high as 15 in some places.
To counter the problem, once it's back in the prime band, the channel plans to run special 'catch-up' episodes of some of its key shows on weekends so that viewers can re-align themselves with the channel. The shows that will be re-run are 'TGILC 2', 'India Calling', 'D.O.N', 'Yeh Dil Chahe More' and 'Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka'.
Starting June 2, the channel will go on an aggressive marketing and promotional spree for its popular 'TGILC 2'. Print ads in leading publications, radio interviews, contests, new celebrities on the show (Hrithik Roshan for one), on-ground events and online advertising will be employed.
Over the next four months, the channel will roll out the next seasons of shows such as 'Nach Baliye', 'Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai' and 'Instant Khichdi'. Meanwhile, its new show, 'Heart Beat' opened with a TVR of 1.15 and witnessed an average TVR of 0.7. But with the channel getting back into the prime band, it hopes to win back its 'much-deserving' TVRs.
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