SAB TV, the
second channel in the Sony Entertainment Network, has been struggling to position itself since it was acquired from the Adhikari Brothers. Pre-acquisition, the channel was clearly positioned as a comedy channel, however small its fan following. However, post acquisition, the channel has tried different identities, and the latest one is a youth channel.
The channel has decided to showcase popular English shows such as 'Alias', 'Desperate Housewives', 'Extreme Makeover' and 'Lost', but dubbed in Hindi. The idea is to reach out to the smaller towns, where English programming isn't very popular. Almost a decade ago, Sony Entertainment Television had tried a similar approach with an international daily soap dubbed in Hindi.
Some industry watchers such as Jyoti Bansal, V-P, MPG, are more optimistic. She feels that youngsters in smaller towns are adapting to westernisation very fast, and such a show will be aspirational. She expects that young viewers who watch shows such as 'Left Right Left', which has a considerable fan following, will also sample these shows.
However, CD Mitra, president, OMS, has serious doubts about the success of the dubbed programmes. He says, "The concept is the same as that of dubbed Hollywood movies, but the big difference between the two is that movies end in two hours, but serials go on. Viewers from smaller towns, at whom the programme is aimed, need to adapt and get accustomed to such shows."