Are new channels with no ‘saas bahu’ sagas threatening old players?
After the scheduled end of long-running serial Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhi on November 10, a phase of fatigue on the idiot box might also conclude, as newer channels like NDTV Imagine, 9x and Colors are bringing more variety and meaning in their content for viewers. Star Plus remained on top for a long time in terms of viewership with hit soaps Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, which ended recently.
Fresh concepts and storylines adopted by new channels had led to a decline in their popularity. This is being seen as a major reason behind Star Plus’ orders to production house Balaji Telefilms to terminate Kyunki..., which is being termed as a “breach of contract” by the production major.
According to data received by TAM Media Research, in the Hindi-speaking markets and among cable and satellite viewers, Colors boasted of a total channel share percentage of 19.5, ahead of Zee’s 16.2, and below Star Plus’ 22.6 in the October 5-11 week.
But Keertan Adyanthaya, general manager and executive vice president of Star Plus, doesn’t believe their channel’s content is dull. “Our content is varied and offers something for the entire family. We are continually refreshing our shows. In the last year, we have revamped the early primetime and launched shows like Santaan, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, and Bidaai and others,” Adyanthaya said.
Zee had a steady stint behind Star Plus until Colors made it big just after around eight weeks from its launch July 21. Shows like Kasammh Se, Saat Phere, and Teen Bahuraaniyan of Zee are fast losing out to new concepts like Balika Vadhu, Mohe Rang De, or Radhaa Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi being telecast on new channels. Most of these serials are a departure from the typical saas-bahu sagas that Star Plus, Sony and Zee TV have sworn by.
According to data, Channel Colors’ Balika Vadhu recorded a television rating (TVR) of 6.77 followed by Star Plus’ Sapna Babul Ka... Bidaai at 6 in the general entertainment category in the time slot of 8-8:30 p.m.
At NDTV Imagine, creative content head Shailaja Kejriwal, who was earlier associated with Star Plus, believes that an appealing TV show must have a good message and add entertainment and some value to the viewer’s life.
“The prime motive of the channel is to maintain quality programming. But honestly, it is tough to do different shows. After all, we are in a business and even though we want to do different stuff, we need to think about healthy TRPs,” Kejriwal said.