Jai ho to Jay Hind!

Read more below

By Priyanka Roy Do you think online TV content will make it big? Tell t2@abpmail.com)
  • Published 27.04.10
A grab from Jay Hind!

IPL 3 was beamed live on YouTube. Rang De Basanti heartthrob Siddharth’s February film Striker had a simultaneous release on the web, the first Indian film to premiere on the Internet. And now here is a show that is weaning viewers away from their TV sets and nudging them towards their laptops.

Jay Hind!, the world’s first full format TV show meant exclusively for the Internet platform, has garnered a record 30 million hits within the first six months of its launch. “I saw my 14-year-old daughter watching most of her favourite TV shows on the Internet and it struck me that we should have a show exclusively on the Net,” says Abhigyan Jha of Undercover Productions, the brain behind Jay Hind! and the man behind the Shekhar Suman laughathon Movers & Shakers that beamed more than a decade ago.

Built on the format of a stand-up comic show with the occasional laugh-out-loud gag thrown in, Jha describes Jay Hind! as an “updated and edgier version” of M&S. “It’s young, it’s crazy and its humour is extremely edgy. Jay Hind! is a confident hello to the world out there from India’s win-all generation,” says Jha.

And it is this “win-all generation” that Jay Hind! is doing a great job of winning over. “We know everyone who watches us. And we know just how much they love us. Our viewers find us and then stick with us and their numbers just keep on increasing everyday,” says Jha. The first episode of Jay Hind! — which went on air on August 15 last year —had garnered a million hits in the first fortnight itself!

But isn’t just being available online restricting in terms of viewership? “Our target audience is the BPO guy who works late nights and needs some kind of entertainment. Our show is for all those people who are constantly on the move and whose laptop is their only form of recreation,” says Jay Hind! host Sumeet Raghavan. Jay Hind! has already completed 66 episodes in a mere six-month period.

So what is it that draws the Netizen to Jay Hind!? “People like the format. They love the fact that we can talk about and critique anything on the show — from politics to films to the IPL and get away with it. There is hardly any censorship on the show,” laughs Raghavan, the popular face of comedy shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai and Ghar Ki Baat Hai. While Raghavan gets the script from the writers (it’s the same team as Movers & Shakers) in advance, he insists that quite a bit of what he says and does on Jay Hind! is off-the-cuff. “I am very sarcastic on the show. We have gone absolutely berserk with the content given that we have no channel bosses to answer to,” chuckles Raghavan. Besides the TV funnyman’s laugh-a-minute jokes, the pop picks on Jay Hind! are Laid Night News or LNN (the comedy news segment) and Savita Bhabhi Ke Sexy Solutions, the do-it-yourself section with a twist!

But while the first barrier has been breached and Jay Hind!’s popularity continues to rise, the bandwith ahead isn’t an easy one. “There is still not enough advertising on the Internet to support quality content. So even with millions of views, we are not making much money,” admits Jha. But given the unconventional medium and the unconventional content, the lack of advertising support is not stopping Jay Hind! from dreaming big. “I believe we can breach the 100 crore views mark very soon and reach a subscriber base of 10 million viewers,” says an upbeat Jha who is now planning an interactive online reality show in which the whole country can participate. “Internet, mobile and TV will all converge with the audience at the centre of it. It should easily become the benchmark for any reality show anywhere,” promises Jha.

Watch Jay Hind! on www.jayhind.buzzintown.com.