'Events' seem to be the buzzword at ZEE's Bengali channel, Alpha Bangla.
It is on this platform that the channel is banking on to reach out to its viewers.
Starting with an event called 'Megh Malhar', and then 'Ilishe Parbon', the channel is now organising another mega event - 'Alpha Gourab 2004' (the Bengali version of STAR Parivaar Awards) on September 27.
Apart from awarding its own programmes and the characters, Alpha Gourab 2004 will also give five lifetime awards to personalities from different fields like dance, songs, literature, acting and direction.
Megh Malhar, which turned out to be success for the channel, was a unique and colourful festival organised by the channel at Aquatica, the water park in Kolkata, to celebrate the monsoons. The event, which also had different contests, got a great response from the viewers. The programme received 4,000 innovative recipes, 10,000 entries for creative writing, and 200 entries for painting.
Jayanta Kumar Ray, business head, Alpha Bangla, says, "The kind of response these events got was quite heartening, and it was clear that special innovations are received well by the viewers."
Ray adds, "These events not only helps the channel to connect to its viewers but the telecast of the event also mean eyeballs for the channel."
ZEE Alpha is making every effort to garner a larger share of viewership. Presently, ETV Bangla is the no.1 channel in West Bengal with a channel share of 53 per cent (TAM Media Research, C&S, 4+, individuals, average channel share last 13 weeks), followed by Alpha Bangla, which has a channel share of 16 per cent.
While Akaash Bangla also has a channel share of 16 per cent, DD-7 has a channel share of 10 per cent. Tara Bangla with a channel share of 4 per cent follows next and Bangla Aekhon has a channel share of only one per cent.
The TAM figures indicates a huge difference in viewership between the first and second lead channel in the state, and ZEE Alpha is trying to minimise this gap.
Just recently, the channel organised another event called "Ilishe Parbon" on August 28, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata. This is yet another recipe contest where six participants - selected from over 3,000 entries - competed against each other over a recipe of Ilish - the favourite fish of Bengali's.
The contest was also accompanied by performances by the some of the popular Bengali artistes such as Swapan Basu, who set the mood with his folk songs. Then, there was Rupankar and Dola Ganguly, who had the whole crowd swinging with their foot-tapping numbers.
Ray says, "At present, we are concentrating on the Kolkata market but very soon, we will take these events to the district towns of West Bengal."
The channel is also planning an event called 'Dui Bangla' where singers from Bangladesh and West Bengal would form a group and move around the state entertaining the audience through live shows.
Food being a hot favourite of Bengalis, the channel will be organising another event in January called Poush Parbon which is a pithey (Bengali sweet pie) cooking competition.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!