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Fridays could get hotter with Sony upping the ante

By , agencyfaqs! | In | February 13, 2004
In the wake of increased action over weekends from rivals in the category, Sony is looking to strengthen the evening band and add more colour to its properties


February 27, 2004, is a crucial day for Sony Entertainment Television (SET). The channel will relaunch its existing Friday line-up in a "unique" format signaling the onset of an all-out war for eyeballs on a day, which has traditionally seen Sony perform well on the ratings chart. Sony's Friday line-up - comprising CID, Devi, Heena and Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat - has led its battle for viewers, with CID and Devi performing most consistently on the ratings charts. In the wake of increased action over weekends from
rivals in the category, the channel is looking to strengthen the evening band and add more colour to its properties.

For one, Heena, telecast at 9.30 pm prime time, will bid adieu on February 20 after a five-year run on the channel. A new-look Devi of one-hour duration will take over on February 27, while CID and Crime Patrol will also do a rejig with the inclusion of a new character in a forensic expert played by Mona Ambegaonkar in the former, and drama, celebrity messages and acts of bravery by common people, built into the latter.

According to Sunil Lulla, executive vice-president, SET, the strengthening exercise is aimed at increasing the element of melodrama. When viewed against the backdrop of weekend activity by rivals, it becomes amply clear why the channel is introducing this special element in its Friday shows.

For starters, lead channel STAR Plus has converted Friday into a de facto kids' day. All shows on Friday are targeted primarily at children beginning with Karishma Kaa Karishma, an adaptation of the hit American show Small Wonder at 7.30 pm, followed by costume drama Hatim at 8.00 pm, sitcom Shararat at 9.00 pm, and horror show Ssshh…Koi Hai…Trikaal at 9.30 pm. Jeet, a weekly soap, launched on October 10, 2003, in the 9.30-pm slot, is now telecast at 10.30 pm, completing the Friday line-up for the leader among mass entertainment channels.

ZEE, on the hand, has a mixed bag of offerings including Kabhie Kabhie, a slot devoted to short stories at 8.00 pm, musical gameshow Antakshari at 8.30 pm, personality-based programme Jeena Isika Naam Hai at 9.00 pm, and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, another musical gameshow hosted by singer Shaan, at 10.00 pm. Though absent in the Top 100 list of programmes, ZEE's line-up, especially, Antakshari, Jeena and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa have a dedicated fan following.

STAR, in comparison, has almost all its Friday shows in the Top 100, contributing significantly to its overall leadership. For the week of January 25-31, 2004, for instance, Hatim notched up a score of 6.5, Shararat 6.4, Ssshhhh…Koi Hai…Trikaal 5 and Karishma Kaa Karishma 3.9, in the base population of four-plus audiences in cable and satellite homes across India.

A week earlier, that is, January 18-24, 2004, the scorecard for STAR on Friday was as follows: Shararat 6.5, Hatim 6.2, Ssshhhh…Koi Hai…Trikaal at 5.2 and Karishma Kaa Karishma with 3.6.

For Sony, Devi and CID delivered 3.1 and 3 respectively in week 5, that is, January 25-31, 2004, while, in week 4, that is, January 18-24, 2004, the two shows averaged 3.1 and 3.2 (respectively) in the base population of four-plus audiences in cable and satellite homes across India.

With the weekend war getting hotter and none of the channels ready to conceding defeat yet, it would be interesting to see how the drama unfolds in the ensuing weeks. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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