Archive for May, 2009

Decision 09: Aaj Tak, CNN-IBN shine on counting day

May 21, 2009

A clean victory for the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the 15th Lok Sabha elections may have been unexpected for everyone, but not so the viewer turnout for television channels on May 16, the day the results were declared.

According to data provided by TAM Media Research, among all the Indian channels, Hindi news channels showed a 15.6 per cent channel share as compared to the 5.02 per cent share of the same day of the previous week. Even the English news channels had an 1.2 per cent English news genre share over the same day of the previous week, when it was 0.37 per cent.

Hindi news channel Aaj Tak emerged as the leader in its genre, with a channel share of 27 per cent, followed by Star News with 19 per cent and India TV with 13 per cent. IBN-7 remained fourth in the viewership ladder with a 10 per cent share, while Zee News took a share of 9 per cent and NDTV India had a 7 per cent share on May 16. 

Among the English news channels, CNN-IBN had the highest relative share of 38 per cent followed by Times Now with 27 per cent and NDTV 24X7 with 26 per cent relative share.

Dilip Venkatraman, chief marketing officer, IBN18 Network, says, “CNN-IBN’s victory was possible as we delivered a complete 360 degree experience by enabling multi-media touch points, be it on TV, Internet, mobile or other media.”

Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief, Times Now, says, “Our focus was more on news, than numbers. And that’s the reason why we took a considered decision not to do an exit poll, and focus on breaking stories, which is our forte.”

Comparable viewership data for the counting day for the 14th Lok Sabha elections in 2004 are different from the present results. Data by TAM, showed a five-fold increase in the viewership of Hindi news channels on May 13, 2004, the day the results were declared.

The television numbers for 14th Lok Sabha numbers are significantly higher than 15th Lok Sabha elections and even from previous news events that channels covered around that time, like the terrorist attack on Parliament in 2002 or the September 11 terror attacks in New York.

Hollywood brings great TRPs for Tamil channels

May 21, 2009

Guess what’s pulling eyeballs and bringing in the bucks on telly these days ? No, it’s not the reality shows or Tamil movies. It is, in fact, the dubbed Hollywood films that are bringing in great TRPs. Surprised, right ?

The phenomenon of dubbed films has always existed in Kollywood. Films from Telugu were regularly dubbed into Tamil and movies like Jaganmohini, Vyjayanthi IPS and Idhu Dhaandaa Police enjoyed a glorious run in theatres across Tamil Nadu.

However, it was The Mummy, released in 1999, that kick-started the trend of dubbed Hollywood films raking in the moolah at the box office, says Mohan Kumar, who owns a dubbing studio which provides content for Vijay TV.

In fact, it was Vijay TV that started this trend of showing dubbed Hollywood films on TV. What was it that prompted the channel to go in this direction ?

K Sriram, general manager, Vijay TV, said, “We had this three-hour slot for which we needed alternative content. We opted for dubbed flicks as we had a few titles with us and movies are movies, whether dubbed or otherwise. The first film to be shown was Titanic in 2003.”

Sriram also reveals that it is action flicks and movies involving animals, like Babe, that are usually dubbed as they appeal to kids, who form a major part of the audience.

Although other channels like Sun TV, Kalaignar TV and Raj TV have started cashing in on this trend only recently, the response they’ve been receiving is tremendous. That Sun TV , which has the rights of many popular Tamil films (reportedly over 3,000 titles), has created two prime-time slots (11.30 am and 7.30 pm) for these dubbed films from last Sunday should prove the lucrative nature of these films.

Today, a Hollywood flick is sold to the regional TV channels non-exclusively for a sum ranging anywhere between Rs 1 and Rs 3 lakh. Films of action stars like Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone and films with special-effects like Underworld, The Mummy and X-Men are hot in the trade. 

The dubbing costs for a film vary between Rs 1 and Rs 1.5 lakh. Most channels outsource the dubbing to private dubbing studios. So, how do these studios go about the process ?

Says Mohan Kumar, “First, we go through the dialogues of the film and translate them. Then, we select the dubbing artistes whose voices we think will suit the characters and dub the film.We preview the film and once we’re satisfied, we do the mixing and hand over the film to the studio.”

The Tamil dialogues are perhaps the biggest attraction for many viewers, especially teenagers. “Watching Jackie Chan talk in Chennai slang or Arnold mouthing Rajinikanth’s punch dialogues certainly provides a different experience,” says Praveen Kumar, a college student.

However, Mohan Kumar feels that going overboard with such gimmicks will alienate viewers from the movie. “Viewers should for get that they’re watching a dubbed film. They should only feel that they’re watching an English film,” he says. 

His principle, he says, is to retain the essence of the English dialogue and ensure that the concept doesn’t change during translation.

Now, even mythological serials are being dubbed in order to reach a wider audience. Sun TV’s Ramayanam, a dubbed version of the Hindi original, and Raj TV’s Jai Sri Krishna have been garnering impressive TRPs.

NDTV and The Hindu to launch ‘NDTV Hindu’ on May 16

May 21, 2009

NDTV Ltd and The Hindu have come together to launch Chennai-centric English news channel, called NDTV Hindu, which goes live from May 16. The channel will cover breaking news and current affairs, as well as user-friendly information.

Announcing the launch of the channel, Dr. Prannoy Roy, chairman, NDTV Ltd, said, “We firmly believe that the future of news is in going local. The Hindu Group with its impeccable credentials has been a household name for generations in Chennai and this partnership will help NDTV Hindu to capitalise on the brand strengths and journalistic values of both the media houses.” 

N Ram, editor-In-chief, The Hindu, said, “Though there are a few Indian language channels that exist for local news, yet there is no English channel catering exclusively to this vibrant city. With NDTV’s strong television broadcasting and editorial capabilities, NDTV Hindu will bring out the true flavor of the city through its high-end content.”

N Murali, managing director, The Hindu, added, “With its non-stop programming across genres, catering to a young urban India, NDTV Hindu aims to change the perspective of every Chennaite about their city, by the minute.”

Rajiv Lulla, managing director and CEO, NDTV Hindu, added, “This channel is a winning combination of editorial excellence and superior programming, targeted at the young. We are sure we will be able to capture the pulse of the city and give the viewers what they have been missing so far.”

Both the partners, Hindu and NDTV believe that city-centric television is the future and are in the relationship for a long term. The channel had a soft launch on May 5 and has signed up with many multi-system operators, including SCV and Hathway Cable and Datacom.

As far as the content is concerned, the channel will focus on both news and features. It will have seven-and-a-half hours of hard news; the remaining time would be devoted to city-centric features, including shows based on audience interaction, fitness, food, shopping, movies, technology, citizen journalism and others. 

Some of the feature programmes on the channel are: I Spy With My Digital Eye, Worked Out Victim, Unclocking Life and Big Pic. The channel will will invite students from Chennai schools for I Spy with My Digital Eye weekly show, where they will be taught how to make films, all caught on camera.

Jennifer Arul, managing editor/COO, NDTV Hindu, on Night Vision show will round up the day’s happenings in and around the city and national news of importance. Coinciding with the counting day, viewers can watch Jennifer on the election special Night Vision with TV journalist Sashi Kumar.

Meanwhile, MetroNation Delhi has stopped live broadcasts and a revamped version of the channel is expected to be launched by the end of July. The Delhi-based channel is presently relying on old shows, along with news tickers.

Saam Marathi beefs up afternoon programming with live women-centric shows

May 21, 2009
Saam Marathi, the Marathi infotainment channel from the Sakaal Group, is beefing up its afternoon band with special slots for women.

The channel has started airing phone-in live women-centric programmes between 1 and 6 pm from Monday-Saturday since 13 April.


Saam Marathi, which has not been able to generate good ratings since its launch on 15 August last year, is now trying to get a boost by wooing more female audiences in the afternoon.


The channel claims that these five-hours, dedicated to the women of Maharashtra, carry programmes with loads of fun, solution-based interactive shows, prizes to be won and a lot more.


Says Saam Marathi promotion head Ambarnath Sinha, “This is a first-time-ever effort in the history of Indian television that a channel has an afternoon slot of five hours live programs for women on-air where they can chat win prizes and share their views and ideas over phone-ins.”


The channel airs five live shows of 45 minutes each, followed by 15 minutes of off-line programmes in between. At 1 pm, the channel airs Sughran, a live cookery show in which viewers come across with the preparations of delicacies or preparations they know and relish every day. At 2 pm is Madhura, an anchor-based live-chat show, in which viewers can call and discuss, debate, deliberate and share ‘everything under the sun.’

Sare Ga Sare Gauia at 3 pm is a song-based quiz show where every winner will get a cash prize. At 4 pm, the channel airs Mana Maje, where viewers can come up with their problems to be answered by experts. Finally, at 5 pm is Saam Sanjivani, a holistic approach towards leading a healthy life through good living habits.


The channel will give beauty tips from the experts in the programme Rupa Dekhane. Tips are given on home decorations, creative art and gift items in Kala Rangan; Pahuni/Tejaswini is a motivational slot with inspirational anecdotes of women whileBhavisyaveda gives astrological advice.

Zee TV to fill 9 pm slot with Balaji show Pavitra Risshta

May 21, 2009

Zee TV, the No 3 Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC), is set to launch a new fiction show, Pavitra Risshta, from 1 June. 

Produced by Balaji Telefilms, the show will replace Saat Phere in Monday-Friday 9 pm slot.Says Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) COO National Channels and Zee TV business head Nitin Vaidya, “We have always believed in subjects that establish a strong connect with the viewers, be it with Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo, Choti Bahu or Betiyaan; all of them deal with pertinent issues. In Pavitra Risshta we are talking about the strong emotional bond that every daughter shares with her mother. This interesting saga brings in the flavour of the mother-daughter relationship

and a mother’s search for a desirable match for her daughter.” 

The show has been shot in a modest environment sans any glamour and grandeur. It essays a middle class household’s routine and lifestyle.

The role of lead protagonist Archana is played by Ankita Lokhande while Savita Prabhune and Ajay Rohila are also playing pivotal role. 

The show focuses on the life of Archana who belongs to a middle class Maharashtrian family, based in Mumbai. Being the eldest daughter of her family, Archana chose to take responsibilities of her siblings rather than focusing on education. As Archana grows up to a marriageable age, her mom realises that her daughter was devoid of all the good things in life during her growing up years. Hence, the mother vows to get her marriedto a well educated and sophisticated guy. But destiny has something else planned for Archana.