Zindagi has taken the next step in their bid to get content from around the world. They started with shows from Pakistan, and after the recent Indian reality show 'Shukriya', the channel is now introducing Turkish content to its viewers. The choice was apparently based on cultural similarities and family values similar to the Indian audience, which also made storylines relatable. The show airs on September 15th and will look at a Monday to Saturday 7 pm slot. In Turkey, the show was called 'Adini Feriha Koydum,' and aired on Show TV.
Feriha is a college romance entirely, so it is largely aimed to attract the younger audience in the 15-30 yrs bracket. The channel says that the shows from Pakistan are doing better in the 35-45 yrs group, this one wants to bring in the youth. The team hopes that the storyline of 'Feriha' will eventually cut across ages.
Zindagi currently operates on a finite episodes pattern, with shows that usually last for 20-40 episodes, or a maximum of 8-9 months. Without revealing the exact number of episodes for 'Feriha' the team says the show will have a similar pattern. They are waiting to see the response as this is their first show dubbed in Hindi, and one that has characters which are not from the sub-continent.
Not quite forthcoming about the channel's performance in the TV ratings context, the team maintains that it is not a Hindi GEC in the traditional sense, and is more premium, having created a different category altogether in the Hindi space. So, has this reflected in advertising? Priyanka Datta, Business Head, Zindagi, claims," When we launched over a year ago, we started with about 11 to 12 clients...within a month we reached 25 clients, and we ended the year with around 140-150 clients...in fact, our client base has grown at a higher rate than Zee TV in that given span of time."
For the 'Feriha' launch, other than the television platform, the channel is looking at network support and non-network too, especially youth channels, as well as radio and online platforms. They will also promote the show in cinema theatres during the run of the film 'Hero,' as both are 'young stories' looking at a similar audience. The channel also will also have a contest that will give viewers an opportunity to travel to Turkey.
The next leg in programming is original local content that is slotted for prime time, while the afternoon band is something that they are working on. Besides working on original local content, the channel has hinted at Latin America as their next source for acquisition.
Will the local content on Zindagi compete with Zee during prime time? Datta says," Zindagi's Indian content will not compete with other GECs..we have very different content which are finite stories. They will be realistic, and will not have 'painted faces in zari sarees'. Also, we don't have the 'sets-based' look, and we will be more 'outdoors'. The lead actors too are fresh, and not regular GEC faces."
Will they have weeklies in local content? The channel says that may not happen as of now. Datta adds that," The shows from here will have finished most of the production before going on air, so yes, we don't have the luxury to change tracks as per the weekly response from the audience, but our focus be on good content that follows the grain of the channel."