How important is the afternoon slot?
A lot, especially if you cannot afford prime-time rates. Sony Entertainment Television (SET) launched its afternoon soap Kuchh Jhuki Palkain (KJP) on Monday, April 29. Produced by Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms, the show will run Monday to Thursday, 2.00 pm, with repeats at 11.00 pm. Interestingly, with KJP, SET has decided to steer clear of direct competition. Thus, instead of fighting UTV's Shagun (at 2:30 pm on STAR Plus), the top afternoon soap on Hindi entertainment TV today, KJP will be pitted against Gharana on Zee TV.
The launch is important as Sony is launching a new show in a slot traditionally reserved for repeat telecasts. Interestingly the new show is sandwiched between two of the major shows of the channel - Kutumb at 1.30 pm and Dhadkan at 2.30 pm - representing a move towards ensuring a block of solid programming for the viewers in the afternoon, a strategy the channel has used to capture prime-time slots.
The afternoon slot has been the preferred repeat telecast slot for television channels. Both the shows that precede and follow KJP are repeats of two big shows Sony has on prime time. Kutumb runs Monday to Thursday 9.30 pm, and Dhadkan runs Monday to Wednesday 8.30 pm. Analysts see the new strategy of Sony in the afternoon slot as a continuation of the "slot-by-slot, bloc-by-bloc, day-by-day" programming strategy that the channel has used in prime time.
In putting an entirely new show in the slot, the channel is also recognising the importance of the afternoon slot. In fact, media planners say that the afternoon slot has emerged as important after the hugely popular Tara, and that Sony is acknowledging the fact by debuting a new show in that time-slot. "Audience fragmentation in this slot is much greater, and so the afternoon slot is much more cost effective," points out Sandip Tarkas, associate vice-president and manager, HTA Fulcrum.
While the afternoon slot pales in comparison with prime time - where more than 80 per cent of all advertising money is spent - the afternoon slot is increasing in importance in the media planners' consideration set because of the predominance of women during that time band. Moreover, while the afternoon slot covers nearly 90 per cent or more of the female audience that watches prime-time television, the advertising costs are far cheaper.
Ironically, during the heyday of DD the afternoon slot was extremely important, and Sony too had its glory days when its shows in this slot regularly had TRPs over 6. In one way, by starting a new show in that time-band, Sony has once again acknowledged the growing importance of the segment. © 2002 agencyfaqs!