If weekends have been attracting substantial focus from top Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) for a while now, the Sunday 11 am slot seems to have become the fresh discovery within that slice.
Taking a cue from STAR's Satyamev Jayate experiment that opened an unmarked viewership window for the channel, Colors is gearing up to telecast a cricket-led property to feed the 11 am Sunday slot in a bid to drive viewership. The show is expected to be launched in October.
A source close to the development says, "The concept of the show goes beyond just cricket. It has all the ingredients of showmanship including cricket, music, romance, tragedy, comedy and fashionable girls. Also, cricket matches, which are an integral part of this show, will be shot at a cricket stadium with real spectators."
It is pertinent to note here that the IPR of the show lies with the recently-launched Cricket Entertainment World Pvt Limited, which specialises in cricket-based entertainment shows. Chak De Balle! is the first project under the banner.
Colors, however, has denied the development. Says a Colors company spokesperson, "We at COLORS are not launching a cricket-led property on Sunday mornings."
Many industry experts are of the view that Satyamev Jayate has created a time band that earlier did not have much traction. Nevertheless, since the launch of the show, any TV ratings during the Sunday morning time band are up by 15 per cent as more people have started tuning in their TV sets during this time.
Undoubtedly, Colors has taken steps in the recent past to introduce differentiated content to its overall weekend line up with shows such as Zindagi Ki Haqeeqat Se Aamna Samna (Sat-Sun 10 pm), Ring Ka King (Sat, Sun 8 pm) and All Is Well With Dr. Ahluwalia. However, the shows could not make the requisite impact on the audience.
"While all these shows are unique concepts, they have not been able to hold audiences together. Therefore, since Chak De Balle! is again a new concept, it will be a big risk for the channel and will be under a performance pressure to attract advertisers on board," says a top media expert on conditions of anonymity.