Archive for May, 2008

Jannat – Was it really Heaven?

May 31, 2008

Emraan Hashmi returns with none other than the Bhatt camp accompanied by some good music by Pritam. But this time the Bhatt camp brings to you debutant Kunal Deshmukh spearheading the direction and partnering Vishesh Bhatt on the screenplay. Vishesh also makes his debut as story writer.

‘Jannat’ is the story of a man caught in a quagmire of crime and consumerism as he struggles to find heaven on earth.

Arjun (Emraan Hashmi) is a reckless young man with an obsession for making money at card games. A chance meeting with a girl named Zoya (Sonal Chauhan) in a mall gives him the reasons he was looking for to move out of his ordinary life. He steps up from playing small-time card games to becoming a bookie.

Stuck in a triangle of sorts between the woman he loves and his addiction to make a quick buck, Arjun moves on from being a bookie to a runner for the mafia.

He steps into the world of match fixing. Arjun switches on the limelight to something bigger, better, and faster, until his dizzying rise attracts the attention of the police. Arjun has to now choose between the love of his life, Zoya, and this newfound success and power.

As Arjun struggles to choose between the two, the Don offers the forbidden fruit of limitless wealth in exchange of his soul and draws him into his core entourage of money spinners.

How far will the horizon of reality stretch as Arjun and Zoya tread a fine, fast-blurring line between right and wrong to find the heaven they have been looking for?

Kunal Deshmukh gets a great chance to prove quite a bit with his very first film but gets it extremely wrong. Firstly the story by Vishesh Bhatt isn’t well defined; Jannat is neither a movie on cricketers nor is it a love story. It’s just such a mix of undefined confusing events that take you nowhere.

The first half just tries to build up the events by portraying an obsessed Emraan and how unconvincingly debutant Sonal falls for our bollywood’s serial kisser. The dialogues of the film by Sanjay Masoom are so dull. Certain remarks made at cricketers and scenes involving Pakistani cricket players won’t certainly find favour with a large section of the audiences especially from Pakistan.

The second half too has nothing much to offer with the cops and bad guys enveloping poor Emraan and his love story.

The cinematography of the film by Manoj Soni has nothing in store in spite of locations such as Cape Town.

The music is the primary reason that keeps the audiences engrossed the music by Pritam and Kamran Ahmad’s ‘Judaai’ are already hit numbers. But many would be disappointed not to find Kamran’s male version of ‘Judaai’.

On the acting front Emraan does carry the style and attitude. He is indeed convincing as the bookie but the weak script makes the love story fall flat.

Sonal Chauhan struggles with her character. She isn’t convincing enough and fails majorly in a film where the writers wanted to express a tragic love story engulfed by obsession.

The supporting actors Jawed Sheikh , Samir Kocchar and Vishal Malhotra are terrific as per the demands of the script.

On the whole , Jannat is a poor tale from the Bhatt camp and it’s quite surprising that the camp that explores varying love stories such as ‘Who Lamhe’ and ‘Gangster’ and eventually convert them into massive hits ; fall flat in the process of gambling with a love story and encashing on the current cricket madness of the IPL.

Maa TV Network launches Maa Music channel

May 31, 2008

Maa Television Network has launched an Telugu music and lifestyle channel called Maa Music today, which the company claims to be the trendiest and contemporary.

The programming mix is like a full platter catering to the musical taste of all kinds of viewers, which includes back to back music, live shows, interactive, and fillers. Apart from music, the channel also focuses on lifestyle shows.

Sharrath Marar, CEO, Maa Television Network, said, “Maa Music stands as an extension to the vibrancy and youthfulness of the main channel Maa TV. We aim to make it the most entertaining and comprehensive music and lifestyle channel in South India.” says

Cartoon Network to air Ben 10 on June 5

May 31, 2008

To celebrate World Environment Day, Cartoon Network, the No. 1 Kids channel, will air Ben 10 episodes on June 5 from 2 pm to 6:30 pm.

The action animated series, follows the adventures of Ben Tennyson, a 10 year old boy, who transforms himself into ten different alien-beings through the mysterious watch (Omnitrix), each with a unique power and incredible abilities, yet allowing him to keep his kid personality.

Ben 10, has been one of the biggest properties and its launch in the country has been supported by an exciting range of consumer products across multiple categories.

Tata Sky files petition against Dish TV’s offer of free STB

May 31, 2008
Direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Tata Sky has filed a petition with fair trade regulator Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), alleging Dish TV’s free set-top box offer as being an “anti-competitive” and “deceptive” act.

Admitting the petition of the Tata Sky, the MRTPC Bench headed by Justice O P Dwivedi issued notice to Dish TV and directed it to file its reply in two weeks, reports PTI.

Tata Sky contended before the MRTPC that Dish TV was indulging in deceptive advertisements as the STBs being given out by Dish TV were not for free and was in violation with the MRTP Act, 1969.

During the proceeding of the commission, the counsel appearing for Tata Sky alleged that Zee group-promoted Dish TV claimed in its advertisement campaign in print and electronic media that its STB were being given for free, which was not the case.

Tata Sky also submitted that in some schemes, the company (Dish TV) was charging rentals for STBs through agreements. In terms of market share, Dish TV is the leading player in the DTH space with 3.2 million subscribers, while the rival Tata Sky recently crossed the two million subscriber mark.

The DTH operator also submitted a STB before the Commission contending that it was not free as price was mentioned over the box.

HBO plans multi-genre movie showcase for June

May 31, 2008

HBO will introduce a list of multi-genre movies for its viewers in the month of June. The list includes 30 Hollywood movies.

The different slots that HBO will present are ‘Summer of 60 Nights’, ‘Blockbuster of the month’, ‘HBO See It First’, ‘HBO Sunday Super Hits’, ‘Daddy in Control’, ‘Entrapment’ and ‘HBO Friday Blockbusters’.

HBO will showcase Hollywood blockbusters across genres every late night in ‘Summer of 60 Nights’. HBO’s ‘Blockbuster of the month’ which will feature comedy movies will begin with Mr. Bean’s Holiday starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean.

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The month’s premiere line will be programmed through ‘HBO See It First’ on every Saturday. The premiere special will include movies like Blood Diamond starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou and Michael Sheen; Adam Sandler and Liv Tyler starrer Reign Over Me; the animated film Over the Hedge which features the voices of Bruce Willis and Garry Shandling; and Blades of Glory starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder.

The programming list will also include ‘HBO Sunday Super Hits’ which will showcase Hollywood hits every Sunday night. The hits’ list will include Blankman starring Damon Wayans and Mars Attacks starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close and Pierce Brosnan. Tom Hanks and Sally Field starrer Forrest Gump and followed by action adventure Zathura: A Space Adventure starring Tim Robbins. A romantic film, My Best Friend’s Wedding starring Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett and Dermot Mulroney will complete the entourage.

HBO this year will also dedicate a time slot especially for fathers called ‘Daddy in Control’. The special time slot will feature films on Sunday and will include RV, Firewall, Look Who’s Talking Too and Analyze This.

And in ‘Entrapment’ HBO will showcase four action flicks every Thursaday. Entrapment will feature Snakes on a Plane followed by The Perfect Storm, Poseidon and The Hunt for Red October.

Moreover HBO will be showcasing a series of famous Hollywood blockbusters on ‘HBO Friday Blockbusters’. The line up will feature the musical animation Happy Feet featuring the voices of Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, followed by the action adventure thriller Mission Impossible III starring Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Ghost Rider starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes.

Neo Sports steals show at PromaxBDA with 11 awards

May 31, 2008

Amidst the boisterous atmosphere at the Promax/BDA India 2008 award ceremony, it was Neo Sports Broadcast that came out on top winning 11 awards (four golds).

NDTV Imagine CEO Sameer Nair was conferred a special gold award by the promax/BDA community as an acknowledgement for promoting Promax in India.

Neo’s ‘Gas’, a promo that was created to establish the tension factor during India-Pakistan series, made a clean sweep in the best sports promo, best sound design and the best script category.

The silvers that Neo bagged were for the best out-of-house station image promo (Power Play), best promotional campaign (tension), best sports promo (Rusty Nail), best launch campaign (Tension), best sound design (Gas), best editing in a promo(Gas) and best animation(Stumps) category.

MTV India and VH1 won four awards each under various categories.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises, NGC Network India and Multi Screen Media (new name of Sony) won a total of seven awards each under various categories. While Zee won four golds, NGC took away three and Multi Screen Media bagged two golds.

Zee Entertainment won gold for best children’s programme promo (Li’l Champs), best print ad (Zee Next campaign), best original logo design (ICL) and best holiday/seasonal/special event promo (Amitabh b’day special).

It won three silver for Funniest Spot (ICL 2007 Delhi Jets), best print ad (Midday Mate SMS) and best print campaign (Zee Next print campaign).

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NGC won golds for best public service announcement (One Car Less), best collateral material(Trapped) and best documentary promo (Trapped).

It won the silver awards for best collateral material (My Brilliant Brain), best multi-media campaign (History Rocks), best infotainment promo (The Fight) and best documentary promo (World’s Most Dangerous Drugs).

INX Media, Filmy and The Cell won four awards each under various categories, which include both silver and gold.

While Star India bagged three awards, Times Global Broadcasting and GenX Entertainment (Bindass) won two awards each.

Given below is a detailed list of the winners for Promax/BDA India 2008:

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Category Entery Title Company Award
Best In House Station Image Promo Ice Age 2 ID Star India (Star Gold) Silver
Best In House Station Image Promo VH1 Sunday Brunch Promo VH1 India Gold
Best Out-Of-House Station Image Promo Power Play Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Out-Of-House Station Image Promo Always On My Mind ESPN Star Sports Gold
Best Promotional Campaign Tension Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Promotional Campaign James Bond Festival Star India (Star Gold) Gold
Best Movie Promo Super Hero Clint Pix – Multi Screen Media Silver
Best Movie Promo 13 Tzemati UTV ETL Gold
Best Drama Promo Amber-Dhara Multi Screen Media Silver
Best Drama Promo Left Right Left Sab – Multi Screen Media Gold
Best Sports Promo Rusty Nail Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Sports Promo Gas Neo Sports Broadcast Gold
Best Comedy Promo La Lola Promo Firangi Silver
Best Comedy Promo Sansui Boogie Woogie Multi Screen Media Gold
Best Children’s Programme Promo Sansui Boogie Woogie Multi Screen Media Silver
Best Children’s Programme Promo Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Li’l Champs – Ashayein Zee Entertainment Enterprises Gold
Best Entertainment Promo Sansui Boogie Woogie Multi Screen Media Silver
Best Entertainment Promo VH1 Sunday Brunch Promo VH1 India Gold
Best Infotainment Promo The Fight NGC Network India Silver
Best Infotainment Promo On The Job MTV India Gold
Best Documentary Promo World’s Most Dangerous Drugs NGC Network India Silver
Best Documentary Promo Trapped NGC Network India Gold
Best News/Current Affairs Promo Devil’s Advocate The Cell Silver
Best News/Current Affairs Promo The Gujrat Verdict NDTV Silver
Best News/Current Affairs Promo Whose City Is It Anyways? The Cell Gold
Best Sales & Marketing Presentation Angootha INX Media Silver
Best Sales & Marketing Presentation TME AV The Cell Gold
Best Holiday/Seasonal/Special Event Promo New Year MTV India Silver
Best Holiday/Seasonal/Special Event Promo Amitabh B’day Special Zee Entertainment Enterprises Gold
Best Multi-Media Campaing History Rocks NGC Network India Silver
Best Multi-Media Campaign Bathroom Singer Virals Filmy Gold
Best Launch Campaign Tension NEO Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Launch Campaign Ugesh Sarcar’s 3rd Degree GenX Entertainment Gold
Best Sound Design Rusty Nail Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Sound Design Gas Neo Sports Broadcast Gold
Best Script VH1 Sunday Brunch Promo VH1 India Silver
Best Script Gas Neo Sports Broadcast Gold
Best Editing In A Promo Gas Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Editing In A Promo 10-3-8 Movies On Time Everytime Filmy Gold
Funniest Spot ICL 2007 – Delhi Jets Zee Entertainment Enterprises Silver
Funniest Spot Eat This MTV India Gold
Best Inteactive Promo Bollywood Ka Boss- Irani Cafe TVC Filmy Silver
Best Inteactive Promo A Promise To Mumbai Times Global Broadcasting Gold
Best Public Service Announcement Child Sexual Abuse The Cell Silver
Best Public Service Announcement One Car Less NGC Network India Gold
Something For Nothing Cricket At 11 ESPN Star Sports Silver
Something For Nothing A Promise To Mumbai Times Global Broadcasting Gold
Best Programme Packaging VH1 Hit Factory VH1 India Silver
Best Programme Packaging VH1 Sunday Brunch Packaging VH1 India Gold
Best On-Air Channel Ident 9X – Love INX Media Silver
Best On-Air Channel Ident Bindaas Identity GenX Entertainment Gold
Best Print Ad Midday Mate SMS Zee Entertainment Enterprises Silver
Best Print Ad Zee Next Campaign Zee Entertainment Enterprises Gold
Best Print Campaign Zee Next Channel Print Campaign Zee Entertainment Enterprises Silver
Best Print Campaign Bolloywood Ka Boss Filmy Gold
Best Collateral Material My Brilliant Brain NGC Network India Silver
Best Collateral Material Trapped NGC Network India Gold
Best Animation Stumps Neo Sports Broadcast Silver
Best Animation Dinosaur Neo Sports Broadcast Gold
Best Original Logo Design Dahhej INX Media Silver
Best Original Logo Design ICL Logo Zee Entertainment Enterprises Gold
Best Programme Title Sequence NSH MTV India Silver
Best Programme Title Sequence IFFA Awards Packaging Star India (Star Plus) Gold
Best On-Air Channel Branding Pix Pix – Multi Screen Media Silver
Best On-Air Channel Branding 9X – Launch INX – Media Gold

Zee Kannada sees surge in ratings, targets break even in fiscal-end

May 28, 2008
The mood at Zee Kannada’s Bangalore office is upbeat. There is a surge in the channel’s ratings and sources say the target is to operationally break even by the fourth quarter of this fiscal.

The scene was quite different four months back. Towards the end of last year and the beginning of 2008, Zee Kannada had to battle with sagging TRPs (television rating points) and GRPs (gross rating points) even as last year’s newcomers Asianet Suvarana and Kasturi edged ahead. Zee Kannada, which completed two years of broadcast on 11 May, couldn’t quite get its programming right until recently.

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The Kannada version of Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa’s ‘Li’l Champs’ seems to have turned the tables for the channel starting week 8 of this year. Since then Zee Kannada has averaged around 180 GRPs. It once even edged ahead of ETV-Kannada, the current number two in the Kannada GEC space (week 15, Zee Kannada had GRP of 347 to ETV Kannada’s 317, according to Tam data).

Even the start of the IPL tourney during week 16, when most of the existing Kannada channels saw a plunge in their GRP ratings, didn’t affect Zee Kannada. The channel’s GRP stood at 194 and then spurted to 204, 206 and 200 for Week 17, 18 and 19 respectively.

For Zee Kannada, reality shows, talent hunts, and comedy for weekends seem to have worked. It has now launched a fantasy serial Jim Jim Jimba which is picking up ratings, says Zee Kannada’s business head Anup Chandrasekhar. The channel has also started a sitcom, a musical talent program, and a late night standup show.

The universe that Zee Kannada operates in has been growing rapidly with new channel launches over the last two years. The Kannada GEC private broadcasters space comprises the Sun group’s Udaya TV, ETV’s Kannada offering, Zee Kannada, Asianet’s Suvarana and Kasturi. While the first three are pay channels, the other two are FTAs (free-to-air).

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Now at the number 3 slot , Zee Kannada is fighting for the second slot for an estimated Rs 2.7 billion Kannada television ad market pie. The subscription market is estimated at Rs 750 million.

“The Kannada ad market has grown by 30 per cent this year, from around Rs 2.1 billion in 2006-07 to about Rs 2.7 billion for 2007-08. The older players too have grown, but their growth is not proportionate to the market growth. We have been growing much faster,” adds Chandrasekhar.

Ad revenues have started building and Chandrasekhar is quite confident that the channel will turn the corner and start showing profitability by the end of year three if the current growth rate is maintained. Zee Kannada has started demanding and obtaining ad rates that are many multiples of its earlier rates, claims Chandrsekhar.

Zee Kannada has bagged ITC as the title sponsor for Li’l Champs while Tata Indicom is the title sponsor for its popular dance show Kuniyonu Baara (Come let’s dance). Another game show Bangara Baale (Gold Rush) has Kala Mandir Sarees as the title sponsor.

As a part of its second anniversary bouquet of offerings, it had a show shot in Dubai – Kannada Kaustuba (the essence/richness of Kannada) which was telecast on anniversary day (11 May). The show had performances by Kannada actors Darshan, Raghavendra Rajkumar, Diganth, Anu Prabhakar, Neetu and many others

“Shooting a show abroad on the scale that we have, and that too a star studded one, is a first for any Kannada channel. No other local channel has so far had the kind of settings and stage that we had for Kannada Kaustaba,” informs Chandrasekhar. The show had Jyothy Laboratories ‘Silk and Shine’ brand as the lead sponsor.

The channel has started to build on its weekend strengths and is trying to emulate that success during weekdays also, according to sources at Zee. It has increased the number of daily news slots from one to three. Its primetime starts at 7 pm with news being read by the national film award winner and Kannada female actor Tara. Tara won the best actress award for her lead role in the film Hasina.

The channel has not been as aggressive as others in purchasing of big movie rights and has had to temporarily shelve its Kannada film production plans. Last year it purchased rights for 27 films, one of them being a super hit – ‘Jogi’. Zee Kannada ratings started ascending around the time it telecast Jogi.

This year it has acquired rights to a successful movie Accident, among others. Ninety eight Kannada movies were released last year.

An analysis of Tam data shows that Udaya TV started the year with first 4 week GRP average of 723.5 (highest 745 in week 1 of 2008). Its average GRP was 638.6 over next 15 weeks (weeks 5-19), with a lowest figure to date this year of 566 for week 17.

Similarly, ETV Kannada with an average GRP of 343.75 during the first four weeks of 2008 (highest week 2 with 371), has seen a dip during the next 15 weeks to average a shade over 292 during the next 15 weeks (week 5-19). IPL (week 16) saw its GRP dipping to 247, the lowest to date this year.

In the case of Zee Kannada, the average GRP for the first four weeks stood at 104.5. The average for next 15 weeks stood at 184.6.

Kasturi, on the other hand, had an average GRP of 135.5 during the first four weeks of 2008 and an average of 121.26 over the next 15 weeks. Suvarana had an average GRP of 115.5 during the weeks 1 to 4 and an average of 95 over the next 15 weeks.

Whether Zee Kannada can maintain and grow its ratings remains to be seen.

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Pragya TV awards media duties to Allied Media

May 28, 2008

Pragya TV, the television venture of Pragya Vision, has awarded its media duties to Allied Media, the media arm of Percept Group. The size of the account is pegged at Rs 10 crores.

Pragya TV went on air in November 2007. The channel follows the philosophy of ‘Live Life Positive’, which is reflected in all its programme content.

Allied Media will be relaunching Pragya TV with a fresh outlook, besides handling the creative strategy and media buying for the channel.

After Sun TV, Raj TV to also produce Tamil films

May 28, 2008

Even as market leader, Sun TV Network gears up to launch a slew of films, Raj Television Network, which operates general entertainment channels in Tamil and Telugu, is also entering the fray to produce Tamil films.

The company intends to produce 12 Tamil films in the first year and has earmarked a capital outlay of Rs 30 crores for the purpose initially. It has firmed up plans to launch four films in the first week of June, this year, a Tamil film director, on condition of anonymity, said.

M Raajhendran, Chairman and Managing director, Raj TV, declined to comment on the move to produce films. However, it is learnt that the company is planning a event in the first week of June to simultaneously launch four new films. It has entered into strategic tie-ups with film director, T P Gajendran, in addition to producers, A M Ratnam and Kameela Nasser.

While Raj TV Network will fund and produce these films under its own banner, it has tied up with others to act as executive producers and complete the film projects on a first copy basis.

Raj TV intends to market and release the films on its own, through existing distributors. The Tamil film industry, drew several corporate houses, including Moser Baer India, UTV and Adlabs Films to get into film production over the past year, is now seeing television channels enter the fray.

Over the past three months, Sun TV Network has been discreetly working out film production deals with almost all leading stars and a formal announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks. had earlier reported first that the Sun TV Network is gearing up to enter film production. It plans to produce at least 10 feature films each in three languages – Tamil, Telugu and Kannada annually through Sun Pictures, a soon-to-be-floated unit.

Raj TV shares were in the limelight about a year ago, when the relationship between DMK President and Tamil Nadu CM, M Karunanidhi and the Marans turned controversial and bitter.

When the stock market was made to believe that it was Raj TV that’s launching the DMK-based Kalaignar TV, the shares of the company had hit a high of Rs 373.35.

Just Punjabi by nature

May 28, 2008

Punjabi entertainment channels have shut shop in the past, but a new player promises top-end programming to survive.

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Just TV Punjabi, a new full-fledged entertainment channel in the Punjabi language, is entering the affluent Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh (PHCHP) market, hitherto dominated by news and music channels.

The channel, to go on air on June 15, is owned by a non-resident Indian businessman Raj Karnik and is a part of Channel Guide India Limited.

Manish Vasisht, the channel’s managing partner and CEO, is cagey about sharing details on the promoters till the formal media announcement on the venture is made next month.

A former Zee TV executive, who’s worked in Dubai and the UK, Vasisht says that the channel is called Just TV Punjabi as more channels will be launched under the Just TV brand name.

The free-to-air channel will focus on the PHCHP region “though cable operators keen to take the channel to Mumbai are also welcome,” he says. Eventually, the channel will target the Punjabi population in the UK, Canada and the US, claims Vasisht.

Just TV has tied up with NDTV Media, the media specialist of the broadcasting sector for advertising sales and strategic consultancy, on market research and content. Raj Nayak, CEO NDTV Media, says that Just TV Punjabi will be Punjab’s first full-scale Punjabi general entertainment channel (GEC).

Agrees Manish Vasisht: “We conducted a market research, which showed a clear-cut need gap. Punjab has many news and music channels but not a single channel that has the programming mix for a general entertainment channel.”

Media experts like Ravindera Narayan are not sure if a Punjabi GEC will work. “In the past, GECs like Lashkara and Tara Punjabi have folded up,” he observes. Narayan should know. After all, he’s President, ETC Punjabi and business head for Zee Punjabi.

Together, the channels enjoy 65 per cent share of the market. ETC Punjabi enjoys the largest viewership in Punjab as it has the telecast rights to air Gurbani live. Zee Punjabi is more focused on news and current affairs with a bit of music and soaps thrown in.

Narayan admits that the Punjab market has exploded with a host of news channels setting up operations. “However, Punjabi GEC is a different ball game since the market is serviced very well by the Hindi GECs. Why should the viewers watch B grade Punjabi serials when they get to see high quality stuff on the Hindi channels?” he asks.

Vasisht is quick to promise top-end content on Just TV Punjabi. “In fact, we will not dole out stuff sitting in Mumbai. We are developing local talent,” he says. The company is setting up studios in Chandigarh and other cities in Punjab.

But Narayan is not convinced. He says that the advertising spends in the region do not support hefty investments. “If you invest too much you cannot recover the cost. Advertisers still use the Punjabi channels as a frequency medium. For reach they advertise on the Hindi GECs,” he explains.

As a result, the ad rates that a top notch Punjabi channel can command is not more than Rs 600 to Rs 800 for 10 seconds compared to Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh per 10 seconds for a Hindi GEC. “We have survived because we keep the cost of ETC Punjabi very low,” he admits.

Besides, carriage fee is in fashion in the affluent Punjab region as well with channels having to pay Rs 5 crore to Rs 6 crore to get a good placement in the cable network.

“The best frequencies are occupied by the Hindi channels. If you do not get the prime bands, you could build a Taj Mahal but nobody will see it,” remarks Narayan.

But Vasisht and Nayak are unflustered. They believe there is a market out there waiting to be tapped. “There is a popular joke that more Johnnie Walker Black label is consumed in Punjab than it is produced in Scotland,” says Nayak. He points out that per capita income of the region is higher than the average per capita income of India.

The sale of two-wheelers and four-wheelers, durables and clothing is very high in the region. Vasisht believes that the channel will draw both local retail as well as national advertisers.

“The estimated size of the market is Rs 80 crore,” he says. “It’s not more than Rs 50 crore,” counters Narayan. Though the market size may be debatable, what Nayak is sure of is the potential of the Punjabi general entertainment channel.

“Sun TV has proved and now the Marathi channels have proved that there is an audience for good quality content in the regional languages,” he concludes.