Sony: A slowdown in strategy?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | August 26, 2002
With Kahin naa Kahin Koi Hai failing to meet audience expectations, the channel might have to rethink programming strategy

For quite some time now, Sony's newly launched shows have followed a pattern. They have been launched with fanfare, they have done well on the charts and have attracted attention, and then they have slowly faded away, at least by TVR figures.

Consider this. Dhadkan which was launched with much fanfare, along with main competitor STAR Plus's Sanjivani, did not make it to the Top 100, despite Sony's insistence on its authenticity. In contrast, Sanjivani has managed to notch up TVRs of 5 to 6 on a regular basis. Another serial Hubahu, which was launched at the same time, was quietly withdrawn, even before it completed its scheduled run. With this withdrawal, Sony's attempts to consolidate the 8.30 pm to 9.00 pm slot between Monday and Thursday, received a setback. The story is the same with Achanak, 37 Saal Baad, and Dil Ko Kaise Samjhaye, which were launched in March.

Ironically, more than six months after the channel launched its slot-by-slot, block-by-block strategy - fearing a debacle as happened with Zee TV that launched 26 shows all at once, none of which made a mark - the channel is still counting on the 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm slot with shows such as Kkusum, Monday to Friday, 9.00 pm, and Kutumb, Monday to Thursday, 9.30 pm.
The linchpin of Sony's programming strategy was to build around its popularity on Fridays by consolidating the 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm slot between March and May, and then concentrate on the 10.00 pm to 11.00 pm slot from May to September. Shubh Vivaah, now renamed Kahin naa Kahin Koi Hai, was to be the final thrust to capture the 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm slot.

However, right now, going by the TVR figures, the strategy seems to have come to a naught. None of the new shows have made any major impact. Going by the latest figures for the target group of all C&S homes and looking at viewers above the age of four for the week August 4 to August 10, despite the launch of Kahin naa Kahin Koi Hai (KNKKH), STAR Plus has a monopoly of all the Top 10 shows on C&S TV. And with Sony, for the same target group, for the same period, only three made it to the Top 10. These are Kutumb with an average TVR of 3.5, Kkusum, with an average TVR of 3.6, and Heena with an average TVR of 2.51, for the various days of telecast.

The highest scorer in the Sony bouquet at rank 32 in the Top 100 shows on C&S TV, was the Wednesday, August 7 episode of Kutumb, which was aired at 9.30 pm and attained a TVR of 3.7, closely followed by the Thursday August 8 episode with a TVR of 3.69, and rank of 34. At the fag end is Heena, Friday (August 9) 9.30 pm, with a TVR of 2.51, and rank of 98.

Once again, it was the older shows that stole the show.

Ironically, despite all the hype - in the launch week of July 28 to August 3 for both KNKKH (Sony) and Zee's Simply Shekhar - the main rival of the two channels, STAR Plus did extremely well both in the 24-hour segment and in prime time. KNKKH began with 2.69 and ended its first week with a TVR of 1.2. On the other hand, STAR Plus was able to get all the Top 20 shows, and 43 of the Top 50 shows on TV with its 24-hour channel share touching a high of 15 per cent, while all-week prime time shares from 8.00 pm to 11.30 pm reached a high of 26 per cent.

In addition, STAR Plus registered a high channel share of 25.44 per cent in the 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm slot with shows like Kismay Kitna Hai Dam touching a TVR of 10.71, Sanjivani reaching 6.41, and Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chand reaching a TVR of 7.

Sony officials were unavailable to comment on this issue. However, Sony has claimed that since 29 July, when KNKKH was launched, Sony has seen a 250 per cent increase in viewership for the 8.30 pm slot. The channel brass cites a recent AC Nielsen study to show that people in Mumbai and Delhi have liked the show.

However, in the high stakes game of television advertising, it is TVR figures that still decide advertising budgets. And with KNKKH that was to be the crowning glory of Sony's slot-by-slot, block-by-block strategy falling below expectations, the channel may have to do some rethinking on programming strategy.

After all, the channel is now back to square one - counting on the 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm Friday slot as the linchpin, as it did when it launched its new strategy. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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