Sapna Nair

Only real life women are allowed on Sahara One

Sahara One claims to have built a distinct rapport with its audience with its new women oriented shows. The channel says it places fan mail higher than TVRs

‘Television Ka Naya Rang’ – this is not the punch line for a colour television advertisement, but for the general entertainment channel (GEC), Sahara One, which has been trying desperately to create a distinct identity for itself.

The channel has been running on-air promos announcing that it portrays its leading ladies as ‘real women’ as opposed to the women protagonists on its competitor channels.

“Sahara One is about real women,” says Purnendu Bose, COO, Sahara One. He feels strongly that before Sahara One entered the race, there was a huge gap between television programmes and their viewers. “Reality was missing on television. There were only melodramatic ‘saas-bahu’ sagas on TV,” he adds.

So, how has Sahara One made a difference? Bose says that at Sahara One, they were clear about what content was appropriate for the ‘reality hungry’ audience. And this reflects in the slew of women-centric or women-empowering programmes the channel has been beaming of late, such as ‘Kittu Sab Jaanti Hai’, ‘Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki’ and, now, ‘Sati – Satya Ki Shakti’.

“‘Sati’ is a winner,” Bose exclaims. And hold on, his positivity is not based on the TVRs garnered by the show, he’s banking on e-mail and responses from the audience for the right feedback.

“We do not create content to get TVRs,” he says. “For us, giving the audience real and believable content is of great importance.” Bose refrains from endorsing TVRs knowing full well that it is high TVRs that drive the advertisers. He says Sahara One has its own loyal advertisers and customers.

Sahara One is still ranked fifth among the GECs, except when it beams cricket. But that does not deter the channel’s search for good, real content that brings it encouraging mail from fans across the country.

The absence of big banners like Balaji Telefilms or UTV Motion Pictures could be one reason why Sahara One hasn’t got the TVRs pouring in. But Bose is determined to not feature any clichéd content on the channel. He says that Sahara One has not blocked the entry of these big production houses, but he wants them to make content that gels with the channel’s current positioning. Bose is confident that Sahara One does not miss that extra ‘spice’ that the big production houses could have contributed. “After all, we are also working with big banners such as Rajshri Productions,” he says.

Sahara One has not followed the reality show or talent hunt craze either. Format shows are a big no-no, says Bose, unless they suit the Indian psyche. However, he says that they might try a reality show in the future, but only if they can create something interesting.

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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