When agencyfaqs! caught up with Samir Nair, COO, STAR India, and quizzed him about what would be the USP (unique selling proposition) of STAR's forthcoming channel, STAR One, Nair quipped, "STAR One is a channel for those who complain that STAR Plus is getting boring."
The channel, which is scheduled to see an October-end launch, will be targeting premium viewers between the age-group of 26 and 34 years.
Nair says, "From an advertising point of view, we are looking at premium products and services catering to premium viewers."
When asked to qualify the word 'premium', Nair says, "When we call STAR One a premium channel, it means that the production cost of the shows will be at par with STAR Plus, and not a cheap channel..." He, then, goes on to list the uniqueness of the serials on this channel.
STAR One, unlike STAR Plus, would tend to take the drama out of the house "with a different colour and different texture". "If one differentiates the programming of STAR Plus with STAR One, it will be the difference between a kitchen and the lobby of a huge palatial building. Yes, both are premium but at the same time, offer a different view of life."
To explain his point further, Nair says, "Basic human emotions like love, hate etc - whether in STAR Plus or in STAR One - remain the same. But you will see that how characters talk differently in the dramas of STAR One."
One more differentiator is that the stories on STAR One would be male dominated as India's working environment is male dominated, whereas homes are female dominated.
"In that way, STAR One will represent an evolved way of thinking. At STAR One, the focus will not be at homes....we will showcase a different type of story telling. There will be proper drama and not just lifestyle or the type espoused by MTV and Channel [V]...," he continues.
"Yes, it will be a Hindi entertainment channel but it would not have a wide array of viewers like STAR Plus has - that is SEC A to E and an age group of 6-60. Star One has an attitude, and it doesn't have an aspiration to be at par with STAR Plus."
On the question of whether STAR would extensively use Balaji Telefilms for STAR One - especially in the light of STAR acquiring a 26 per cent stake in the company - Nair replies in the negative. "Balaji will have only one serial in the first phase, which will run from October 2004 to May-June 2005. In the second phase, they may get to do work on more serials," he explains.
So, the STAR Management, it seems, is finally going beyond popular serials like Kahanis and Kyunkis...and will treat STAR One viewers with a different, and perhaps more cerebral, fare.
When asked to comment on this issue, Nair says, "I would not like to make any comments. Any suggestions of Kahanis and Kyunkis....being non-cerebral would be a derogatory statement since all these are extremely popular serials. Thank you."
© 2004 agencyfaqs!