Come November 2002, and STAR Gold will cease to be the classic Hindi movies channel viewers have been so attuned to watching. Instead, the channel will switch to content, distinctly contemporary, sporting a new look that is more in sync with the times.
Staring November 3, 2002, STAR Gold will try to draw a mass audience through a mix of movies, events and film-based shows, achieved by dividing the programming line-up into different slots and bands.
Explains Tarun Katial, senior vice-president, STAR India, who is also, head of programming, STAR Gold, "Our programming menu includes highlights such as Dopahar Gold, catering exclusively to housewives and featuring women-oriented films as well as timeless love stories. Special Gold will showcase dubbed Hollywood movies at 8.00 pm on Saturdays whereas Gold Minors will include children's films at noontime on the same day. Besides, there is Solid Gold featuring blockbusters, Classic Gold showcasing the best of timeless classics and a slot on Sunday mornings reserved exclusively for devotional films. Also, the movie most voted out of a couple of nominations will be telecast on Sunday noon under the banner Mera Sabse Favourite Movie."
Incidentally, some months back the channel saw a change in its format with a skew towards flicks from the 80s and 90s. However, the current changes aims to position STAR Gold as "India ka sabse favourite movie channel", catering to the entertainment needs of the entire family as opposed to a niche segment of classic movie lovers. Reiterates Katial, "This is not exactly a relaunch but more a process of evolution where we are moving from a 'single theatre' scenario to 'multiplexes' - implying variety and more screenings in a contemporary atmosphere. The idea is to provide a complete cinematic experience with a mix of movies, events and film-based shows."
Interestingly, the list of dubbed Hollywood movies includes Chocolat (featuring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche), Music of the Heart (featuring Meryl Streep and Angela Bassett), Metro (Sylvester Stallone), Fist of Fury (Bruce Lee) and the Jackie Chan-starrer, Armour of God I and II, among others.
Also, the channel seems to be borrowing heavily from big sister, STAR Plus, and CHannel [V] as well, as far as film-based programmes go. Countdown shows such as Ooh la la (originally on STAR Plus) and Flashback (the Javed Jafferi caper that was a huge hit on CHannel [V], a few years ago) will stage a comeback on STAR Gold. In the pipeline are shows such as Cine Jharokha, Hit Filmein Hit Sangeet and Jubilee Plus (to be telecast simultaneously on STAR Gold and STAR Plus).
STAR executives are happy that the channel share of STAR Gold has risen steadily - though slowly - coinciding with the decline of ZEE Cinema. According to TAM Media, ZEE Cinema saw its channel shares dip from 7.6 per cent in 2000 to 5.2 per cent in the calendar year 2001. During January-September 2002, it slipped to 4.4 per cent. On the other hand, STAR Gold rose from 2.17 per cent in end May 2002, to 3 per cent by end August 2002. As an industry observer puts it, "Going by these figures, if STAR Gold notches up a couple of percentage points more (in channel share), it will directly compete with ZEE Cinema." © 2002 agencyfaqs!