It's Pol time on SAB TV

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 28, 2010
The channel is looking at syndicating its content to countries including South Africa and South America

SAB TV, the family entertainment comedy channel, is in a celebratory mood after crossing the 100 GRP mark and becoming the No. 6 player in Week 24.

In fact, the channel has been on a growth path since 2009, when it recorded 81 GRPs in Week 49 (2009 TAM data) and was ranked No. 6, racing ahead of Sahara One and STAR One.

With its steady performance, the channel appears to be giving stiff competition to No. 5 GEC (general entertainment channel) Imagine.

According to Anooj Kapoor, executive vice-president and business head, SAB TV, "Crossing the 100 GRP mark is special for the channel, given that we are just next to Imagine, which, in terms of budget, operates at a higher cost of about four to five times than SAB TV. Also, in the last 12 months, the number of brands advertising with us has increased from 35 to 60."

Encouraged by the steady performance, the channel has also lined up another show, Papad Pol Shahbuddin Rathod ki Rangeen Duniya, which it hopes will draw in more audiences. Based on the literary works of Gujarati writer and humorist Shahbuddin Rathod, Papad Pol, which debuts today, captures the life of Vinaychand Parikh, a naive individual whose sole aim in life is to get married. The show replaces and will be aired daily (Monday to Thursday) at 8 pm.

For SAB TV, the new show is the third property which is an adaptation of a literary work. Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma and Lapataganj, two popular shows running on the channel, are also adapted from literary works in Gujarati and Hindi, respectively.

TAM data indicates that adaptations of literary works have always proved lucky for SAB TV. According to the latest TAM data (Week 24), Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma and Lapataganj turn out to be No.1 and No. 3 top performing shows for SAB TV. While Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma registered a TVR of 2.67, Lapataganj recorded a TVR of 1.22.

Kapoor admits that the success of these two shows indicate that SAB has expertise and first movers advantage when it comes to adapting literary works to TV soaps. According to him, Hindi and other regional language authors offer a plethora of interesting characters, which make for interesting stories for TV viewers.

Papad Pol has been produced by Vipul Shah's Optimystix. The production house has given SAB TV another comedy, titled Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo.

To create curiosity and interest around its latest launch, SAB TV is extensively employing the show's lead character Vinaychand's lookalike, dressed in complete finery, at railway platforms and other public places. These individuals will be seen chasing prospective brides in Mumbai.

Moving beyond new launches, Kapoor shares that the channel is also active on the syndication front. For long, the channel has been providing content to United Kingdom and other countries. Going forward, it is looking at focusing on other potential markets including South Africa and South America.

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