afaqs! news bureau

SAB TV's patriotic comedy falls short

One of the biggest bets of the channel has failed as its new show, I Love My India, did not garner enough ratings. The channel spent about Rs 3 crore for the marketing of this show.

SAB TV, the second general entertainment channel offering of MSM, has withdrawn 'I Love My India', the patriotic comedy show, on May 5. The channel had high expectations from the show and it was marketed heavily during its launch phase. Apparently, the show has failed to garner the expected response from the audience.

SAB TV's patriotic comedy falls short
'I Love My India' saw the highest marketing spend from the channel (of about Rs 3 crore). It was launched on February 20, close on the heels of two other shows, Chidiyaghar and R K Laxman ki Duniya, which garnered TVRs close to 2.27 and 1.45, respectively (TAM, C&S 4+, HSM) in the initial four weeks of their launch. Compared to that, 'I Love My India' scored average ratings of about 0.44 TVRs, with an opening episode rating of 0.88 TVRs.

Due to this lukewarm response to the show, it was decided to withdraw airing of 'I Love My India'. The channel has announced that it will launch a fresh show to replace it on June 4, in a bid to push up the slot ratings.

Anooj Kapoor, executive vice-president and business head, SAB TV, says, "The show did not work well right from the first day when it was aired. We had higher hopes from the plot. But it was not taken well by the audience and the show couldn't garner enough ratings for it to keep going."

afaqs! spoke to some media experts and tried to explore the reasons for the dismal performance of the show.

SAB TV's patriotic comedy falls short
A media expert on condition of anonymity says that the show would not have worked for a country like India. The expert says, "Patriotism is perceived differently by everyone in India. The show, I Love My India, had a certain perception which was closer to the previous generation or rather, our grandparents' generation. The younger India doesn't look at patriotism in that way."

Amit Ray, director, Wise TV, says, "Humour is something that can be blended with any concept very nicely. Humour is not satire. It doesn't put anything down. So, I won't say that humour and patriotism was something that didn't work. A show can fail either on subject-sensitivity level, concept level or execution level. The plot used for the show has worked very well before, say in case of the movie Pardes. Bringing that in the humorous angle would not have been a mistake, I would say. It's just that may be the execution failed at some level."

SAB TV's patriotic comedy falls short
For the records, the new show (Bhai Bhaiya Brother) will be aired during the 8 pm slot from Monday to Friday, right after the Indian Premier League. It depicts the problems faced by a joint family which is a combination of three nuclear families.

Kapoor adds, "The new show fits into the channel's values of promoting the joint family system. The best part of the show is that it doesn't concentrate on any one region."

Generally, a channel such as SAB spends about Rs 1-1.5 crore on the marketing of a show. However, SAB claims that it will spend a little more on the promotions of this show, which is co-produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and Deven Bhojani.