The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Films nudge trailing channels

Mumbai, Nov. 22: Are new movies saving the day for the entertainment channels'

STAR is still at the top of the charts, with saas-bahu serials ruling the roost, but in the absence of innovative programming, distant runners-up Sony and Zee, still searching hard for TRP rates, are looking at new movies as their saviour.

According to the ratings by Tam’s Peoplemeter System for November 3-9, the latest released by the media research agency, Sony, which hardly figures at the top otherwise, clocked a TRP of 7.69 with airing Lagaan.

It’s the 10th programme on the list, and the only Sony programme in the top 20.

The same holds for Zee. The channel has no programme in the top 20, but Humraaz — the recently released Akshaye Khanna-Bobby Deol-Amisha Patel thriller which was shown on Zee’s Thursday Premiere series, a package of new movies to be aired on the channel — managed to notch up 4.78. The film gave it the 24th slot in the list.

The rest of the top 20, with the one presence of Sony, have been lapped up by STAR programmes, mostly soaps from the Balaji factory.

Four episodes of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi top the chart with ratings of 9.58, 9.44, 9.39 and 9.35 (data from all markets and all segments of viewers), followed by four episodes of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki in the next four slots with ratings of 9.24, 8.88, 8.78 and 8.74. Then there’s one episode of Kasauti Zindagi Kay, followed by Lagaan.

Sony and Zee are happy to acknowledge the strength of the films. “Lagaan was a very successful programme on our channel,” says Anupama Mandloi, director, on air programming, of Sony. She adds that to keep viewers from straying, the channel has restructured the way of airing ads during a movie show.

“We had less breaks and less spots, sold at a premium,” says Mandloi.

This week, Zee beamed the Hrithik Roshan-Kareena Kapoor-Rani Mukherjee flick Mujhse Dosti Karoge, a film that flopped on the big screen, as part of the Thursday Premiere series and the TRP ratings promise to be good.

“We don’t subscribe to TAM ratings, but according to our own feedback, some of the movies are doing very well,” said a Zee official.

The channel shouldn’t complain, because apart from movies, it’s hardly present in the top 100 programmes.

Its Playwin Lucky 3 just misses a place within the top 100, while the soaps Zee recently launched with much fanfare, Kittie Party, Love Marriage and Lipstick, though they are supposed to be going down well with a select urban audience, featuring nowhere.

Verdict: There’s still no- one to take on the saas-bahu combo, though their ratings may also show a slight decline, indicating the start of viewer fatigue.

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