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Imagine TV quick starts it prime time

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 18, 2011
The Hindi general entertainment channel currently runs its prime time band from eight in the evening to midnight. From June, the channel plans to expand the band, starting at 7 pm.

Starting June, the Turner promoted Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Imagine TV, is all set to stretch its prime time, starting at 7 pm, and continuing till midnight, rather than from 8 pm to midnight. Additionally, the channel claims to be working on weekends and in the afternoons.

Currently, the channel airs six hours of original programming, followed by re-telecasts of its shows for the rest of the day.

Saurabh Tewari, head, programming (fiction), Imagine TV, says, "During June-July this year, we will introduce programmes in the 7 pm slot as we are currently focussing on expanding our prime time viewership. Once we are able to build our prime time band, we will concentrate on building other bands."

The channel plans to launch eight-nine shows, including fiction and non-fiction, this year. However, it will not launch any show during the entire season of the Indian Premiere League, slated to begin in April. Two new shows - Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga and Luteri Dulhan - will be launched soon to replace its reality show, Shaadi 3 Crore Ki, whose episodes are an hour long each. The shows will be telecast from Monday-Thursday, at 9 pm and 9:30 pm, respectively.

According to Tewari, both shows have interesting story lines. While Luteri Dulhan is about a con family and how they cheat people and run away with their money, Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga is a lighter take on one's desire to get married.

The channel also plans to launch new programmes during the weekend slots. Recently, Imagine TV launched a period drama, Chandragupta Maurya, for the weekend time bands.

With a wide range of channels in different genres vying for the viewers' eyeballs, it is a tough task to grab attention and ensure stickiness. While channels such as Colors (which has brought social issues to the forefront) and SAB (which runs on comedy) have found the winning formula, it appears that Imagine TV is yet to find its niche.

Tewari adds, "In the GEC business, the channels are not doing anything drastically different from each other. What really matters is how successfully one is able to tell the same story. As a GEC, we cater to people in the age group of 15-55 years. Hence, in our programming mix, we have shows that can be liked by viewers in that age group."

Apparently, the channel is going through a phase of trying to find its niche. One of the strategies to hit the correct formula is to introduce new shows and formats before it is able to find a winning solution.

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