STAR Plus, which
continues to be the market leader in general entertainment television, is the only channel to have extended its primetime beyond 11pm. Now the channel's closest competitor, Zee TV, is attempting the same.
The general entertainment channel has launched a daily half an hour soap, 'Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai - Khel Lakeeron Ka', with which it hopes to extend its primetime till midnight. The show, which will go on air from July 16, will be aired from Monday to Thursday.
This daily soap has a storyline that revolves around three girls from different family backgrounds and starkly different ways of thinking. It is targeted at urban women viewers, and senior media observers such as Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal, feel that this is what that might go against the show.
However, not everyone agrees. Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG, is of the opinion that the late night time slot will actually turn out to be a boon for the channel. According to her, the urban population does have a late night viewership. As the show is skewed towards urban women, the time slot will not be an issue. "Had the show been targeted at rural women, this time slot would have been inappropriate," says Nayyar.
However, Nayyar feels that the storyline has to be interesting enough to catch the fancy of its targeted viewers, and it will take at least four-six weeks to decide the fate of the show and build a loyal viewership base.
Zee is leaving no stone unturned to provide maximum sampling of the show in the initial weeks. Tarun Mehra, senior vice-president, marketing, Zee Entertainment Network, says, "We have gone ahead with the usual 360-degree approach, buying ad space on television, radio, banners and so on." The marketing will be rigorous for the first month and then will be concentrated on television.
Manas Mishra, general manager, Mediaedge: cia, feels that the launch of the show could be beneficial for the channel in other ways.
According to Mishra, STAR Plus has built its weekend slots with Gajendra Singh's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa', but the channel hasn't had anything very interesting to offer on weekdays. It has been banking on the 'Kyunkis' and the 'Kahanis'. So, Zee's got its strategy right by trying to strengthen its weekday primetime slot, which could increase its weekly viewership share among GECs.