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Sahara One in new avatar renews focus on rural India

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | May 13, 2010
The channel has undergone a packaging change and plans to launch several new shows in the coming year

Sahara One hopes to strike back after a long lull. Armed with a new logo, packaging and a bunch of new programmes, it promises to present a refurbished offering.

The channel plans to launch six to seven new shows by the year end, beginning with two this month - Bitto and Shorr. While Bitto is based in rural UP and deals with the practice of social discrimination, Shorr is a story about a mute girl and the hardships in her life. The last new launch by Sahara One was Ganesh Leela in October 2009.

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Avinash Kaul came on board as chief executive officer for the network (Sahara One, Filmy and Firangi) in February and has, since then, been putting the processes in place, be it hiring across functions or devising sharper strategies to get back in the reckoning, with a new emphasis on distribution, sales and marketing.

In the first phase of infusing fresh programming, Sahara One will focus on shows with mass appeal targeted at the rural hinterland. "The expanse of real masses of India lies in the hinterlands and not only in the advanced metros. More than 65 per cent of the viewership comes from the bottom of the pyramid. Moreover, Sahara One has always catered to the masses and has a better understanding of these audiences. Regional will be our priority," Kaul says.

The channel has designed a new logo to reflect traditional Indian values. After launching a few more shows, Sahara One will launch a corporate campaign titled Nayi Saheliyaan, Nayi Kahaniyaan, Naya SaharaOne. A campaign is already running to announce the two new offerings from the channel.

Sahara One commands a relative channel share of 2 per cent, as per TAM (C&S, 4+, HSM). Its existing shows include Ganesh Leela, Woh Rehne Wali Mehlon Ki, Mata Ki Chowki and Kesariya Balam Aavo Hamare Des. The average TVR garnered by these shows is 0.4 (TAM, Week 19).