Archive for August, 2009

Poll of the month

August 13, 2009

Post Swayamvar, Imagine launches Pati Patni Aur Woh

August 13, 2009

NDTV Imagine has some good reason to smile. In the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) space, the final episode of its marriage-based reality show, called Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, clocked in ratings of 8.4 TRPs on August 2, 2009. This is the highest score for a non-fiction show till now in 2009.

To maintain the performance consistency of the channel via the Rakhi factor, the channel is coming up with yet another show centered around marriage theme. Rakhi Sawant and her ‘official husband’ Elesh Parujanwala are getting ready to take their relationship to the next level, by playing parents on a new reality show, called Pati Patni Aur Woh.

Pati Patni Aur Woh is being launched after Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. Nikhil Madhok, vice-president, marketing, NDTV Imagine, explains that in the GEC space, its the innovation that has gone up drastically to maintain the lead position.

Madhok says, “Some time back, there were two-three shows being launched annually and these shows were being replaced after a long period. Now every other month, there is a new launch as channels have at least six-seven new shows lined up for a year.”

Meanwhile, Rakhi has even decided on a name for her child. “I will call her Khushi,” she says. When asked about the concept behind the show, she says, “I don’t know. All I know is that I am going in a house just to have a picnic for one month.”

Rakhi and Elesh will be joined by four other celebrity couples – Shilpa Saklani and Apurva Agnihotri; Juhi Parmar and Sachin Shroff; Mouni Roy and Gaurav Chopra; and Debina Bonnerjee and Gurmeet Chaudhary.

The show’s format is borrowed from The Baby Borrowers (BBC Worldwide Productions), in which five couples, aged 16 to 19, start off by attempting to look after a baby for three days, before moving onto toddlers, preteens, teenagers and finally an elderly person.

In the Indian version, the couples will spend an entire month in a closed environment, monitored by cameras all the time, which will also capture their journey as they embark on a new life of discovery as first-time parents.

DD starts Golden Anniversary celebrations with Rahman concert

August 13, 2009

Doordarshan (DD) will complete 50 years of transmission in September this year. Ambika Soni, the Information and Broadcasting Minister has flagged off the occasion by a curtain-raiser concert – ‘AR Rahman Unplugged’, which was a collaboration between DD and Phat Phish India.

In the concert, Rahman performed some of his compositions along with singers like Hariharan, Kailash Kher and Sadhana Sargam. Sivamani was also a part of this enthralling evening.

Aruna Sharma, director general, DD, says, “The show has all the hallmarks that one would associate with the musical genius – a delightful infusion of music, creativity, passion and individuality to mark this historic occasion of turning 50.”

From humble beginnings in 1959, when DD started with experimental telecast using a small transmitter and a makeshift studio, DD today operates more than 30 channels across India and an international channel abroad.

DD will soon commence HDTV transmissions on an experimental basis, followed by a commercial rollout, in time for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010. Thus, Indian television viewers will be able to watch the Commonwealth Games on HDTV ready televisions.

KR Harish, managing director, Phat Phish India, says, “We are happy to work with DD and bring in content that will not only kick start the golden jubilee celebration, but also usher in programming of scale richness that will start a new era on DD.”

DD’s year-long anniversary celebrations will mark a series of events across all centres, which will culminate with the 2010 Commonwealth Games next year.

Discovery Networks to launch three new channels in India

August 13, 2009

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific will launch three new 24-hour channels in India – Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo and Discovery HD. Permission for the new channels was granted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on August 12, 2009.

Rahul Johri, senior vice-president and general manager – India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “In the current environment, networks that have a distinct brand proposition will emerge as the preferred destinations for viewers, advertisers and affiliates alike.”

Johri adds, “The changing market dynamics, favourable demographics, and research, suggest that millions of viewers in India would enjoy Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo and Discovery HD’s unique and high-quality programme offering.”

The company plans to launch Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo on both analog and digital platforms, while Discovery HD will be launched only on the digital platform. All three channels are available in English.

The new launches increase the breadth of Discovery’s television offering in India to six channels. Currently, Discovery broadcasts Discovery Channel, Discovery Travel & Living and Animal Planet.

Discovery Science is dedicated to making science programming accessible, relevant and entertaining. The channel’s programming genres will include exploration, cutting-edge discoveries, medical research, astronomy, space, genetics and human body.

Discovery Turbo is a new network offering entertaining and inspiring programming for people who love the adrenaline rush of all things motored. Its programming will include events (car, boat, bike shows), celebrity motorist profiles (Formula One, NASCAR), DIY, motoring trends and fashion.

Discovery HD is the only global high-definition television network offering factual and lifestyle entertainment. It brings audiences closer to their world, featuring programming on the wonders of the world including world culture, science, wildlife, natural history, travel and lifestyle.

Rajat Sharma’s India TV to launch Wiz channel

August 13, 2009

There finally seems to be some ‘breaking news’ from the company, which specialises in and swears by that term. Rajat Sharma, chairman, Independent News Service (INS) and editor-in-chief, India TV will launch his second 24-hour TV channel, called India TV Wiz, a hybrid news channel in Hindi and English.

Speaking to us, Sharma says the new channel will be launched by the end of this financial year. “A unique bouquet of content, which will make it a national phenomenon, is under the offering.” he says.

“Wiz will be available on analogue cable TV and all digital platforms. The aim is to connect with new-age audiences through the fast-emerging digital media business – India TV Interactive. It will be plugged on to new media platforms from day one.” Sharma says.

India TV, Sharma says, has been witnessing steady growth over the past year. “Four our new channel we desire to maintain the same consistency of India TV, but in an more innovative manner. The programming line-up for Wiz will ensure a better connectivity and interactivity with our viewers.”

In January 2008, Bangalore-based Shyam Equities has invested Rs 100 crore in INS, the parent company of India TV. The company has been valued at Rs 500 crore, and Shyam Equities has bagged a 20 per cent stake offloaded by the holding company.

Sharma had said earlier that the Shyam Equities development will lead to strategic growth beyond India TV. This includes launching a bouquet of channels, a distribution blitz in key international markets, and a significant entry into non-news and non-television media.

In March 2007, Fuse+ Media, an entity of ComVentures, a leading Silicon Valley based venture capital and private equity group, had placed the equivalent of Rs 50.9 crore of FDI in INS for a 19.17 per cent stake.

Ten Sports targets Rs 300 mn from tri-series

August 13, 2009

Ten Sports is targeting an advertising revenue of Rs 300 million from the tri-series involving India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The sports broadcaster has roped in Compaq as the title and co-presenting sponsor for the next month’s cricket series that begins on 8 September in Colombo.

“Ten Sports is targeting an ad revenue of Rs 300 million from India,” a source tells

Ten Sports has already signed Maruti as an associate sponsor and plans to rope in five more.

Taj Television India GM Rukin Kizilbash says that 50 per cent of the inventory has been sold thus far. “Spots are going for Rs 250,000 per 10 seconds for the four-match series,” he adds, while declining to say what revenue the sports channel is targeting.

Kizilbash says Ten Sports is on the verge of signing a two- wheeler company as a co-presenting sponsor. It is also talking to a telecom company and cola companies for associate sponsorships.

Spots have been taken by several companies including Sony Electronics, Maruti and Unibisc.

Kizilbash further confirms that there is no category exclusivity. This means that if Pepsi is to be signed as an associate sponsor, Coca-Cola could still air spots during the event.

Hello FM is now Radio Hello FM

August 13, 2009

Keeping an eye on the phase III FM rollout, Hello (106.4) FM, owned by Malar Publications Group, has changed its name to Radio Hello (106.4) FM. The Tamil Nadu-based radio venture, which till now was more inclined towards the Tamil language, has decided to focus on colloquial language.

Rajeev Nambiar, chief executive officer and president, Radio Hello FM, explains to us that the radio station was better known by its frequency rather than the brand name. However, as the brand equity is built now, it was the right decision to focus on brand name rather than frequency.

Nambiar says, “We decided to reduce the usage of regional language, when and where it is not required. While we still continue to be a Tamil-centric station, we are dropping heavy Tamil words and will now use many of the English phrases.”

Nambiar adds that the radio station will now focus on metro Tamil audience rather than the rural Tamil segment. The rebranding effort started since the end of July across all the stations of the group in cities such as Chennai, Kovai, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Nellai, Tuticorin and Puducherry.

The FM station has renamed its breakfast show as Hello Cafe. For the 11 pm-12 am slot, it has launched a new show, called Hello Gramophone, which is about nostalgic retro numbers.

For the programming on the station, the channel has also tied up with BBC Radio, whereby the latter will provide 90 second capsules throughout the day on Bollywood, sports, lifestyle and other topics. The show is called Hello Nimisham BBC Vishayam, and will go on air from August 17.

Recently, the station has also started a radio contact activity, called Aircel College Semastar, wherein the radio jockeys (RJs) of all the stations of Radio Hello will go to 91 colleges across Tamil Nadu and identify about 5,000 people, who could probably make their mark in the field of radio.

Rakhi’s Swayamvar is India’s most watched TV show

August 13, 2009

Rakhi Sawant, the outspoken, wannabe-bride on NDTV Imagine has not only managed to select her groom on television, but has also achieved in garnering the maximum ratings for any reality show in last two years.

As per Tam data, the grand finale of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar Faisle Ki Raat, which was aired live on 2 August from 9-11.30 pm, fetched a whopping TVR of 8.4 for the channel.

The viewers remained captivated by Rakhi and her tantrums to make the finale the top rated show among the Hindi GECs (general entertainment channels) during the week. It also helped the channel to notch a total of 141 GRPs in the week ended 2 August.

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar had been into controversies from the very beginning. While on one hand, there was Rakhi selecting and rejecting perspective contestants as per her whims and fancies, there were news channels on the other hand trying to create scoops out of the show.

It is pertinent to note here that News24 conducted a sting operation, saying that the show was rigged, ultimately helping the property to garner more eyeballs.

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar that hit the television screen on 29 June witnessed the best non-fiction opening with a TVR of 4.1, till Sach Ka Saamna launched on Star Plus. But the show did what it was created for. It gave NDTV Imagine a major upward push. The channel which was hovering around the 100 GRP (gross rating points) mark on a weekly basis, before the launch of the show, zoomed up by over 25 GRPs per week.

Overall, the show that was spread over a 6-week span fared an average of 2.8 TVR.

On a week-on-week basis, the show managed an average TVR of 2.8 in its first week. The ratings dipped slightly in the second week (2.3 TVR) but as word of mouth about Rakhi’s hunt for a dulha spread, the ratings soared higher. However, after an average of more than 3 TVR for two consecutive weeks, the three remaining contestants and Rakhi lost some of the charm as average rating slumped to 1.5 TVR in the fifth week.

The final week (average 5.9 TVR) saw two major events in the show, Mehendi Sangeet on 1 August (3.4 TVR) and the finale, where she picked NRI Elesh Parujanwala as her to-be groom.

And now, the channel has decided to milk all the publicity around the couple, and has roped in them to contest in their upcoming reality show, Pati Patni or Woh, which is adaption of international format show Baby Borrowers. BBC Worldwide, which holds the rights of the show is producing it for the channel.

SFM rebranded as Red FM

August 13, 2009

In what is being pegged as one of the biggest rebranding exercises across private radio stations, SFM has been rebranded as Red FM. All the 38 stations of SFM – which comprise 23 stations of South Asia FM (SAFL), 14 stations of Kal Radio and one station of Udaya FM – will undergo a change in identity.

With this, the rebranded Red FM will have a total of 41 stations in its kitty, including Red FM’s existing stations in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The new brand identity of the radio venture will be unveiled on August 14 in the North, East and West regions; and in the South, the new brand will go on-air on August 17.

K Shanmugam, chief executive officer of the unified Red FM, says, “Consolidating our radio FM business under the Red FM brand was a strategic move by us to offer pan-India audience a single, strong brand representation. This will help us unify our programming across key cities and help garner a larger share of ears.”

“Advertisers can now reach out to a wider listener base and can capitalise on the unique Red FM programme format. Launching the brand nationally fulfills our vision of creating the single largest FM radio station network across the country.” Shanmugam says.

The exercise will result in a shift in the programming style, content, format and presentation of the stations. All the rebranded stations will incorporate Red FM’s theme and the tagline of ‘Red FM, Bajate raho’.

According to the company, which has a footprint in 16 states, the network reaches more than 20 million listeners. To communicate the change in identity, the rebranded station has lined up a series of marketing activities, including ATL, BTL and OOH initiatives, in all the cities where the new Red FM has its presence.

The stations which will come under the rebranding exercise are: Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Gulbargha, Kochi, Trivandrum, Trissur, Kannur, Kozhikode, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag, Warangal, Rajmundry, Tirupathi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Bhuvaneshwar, Asansol, Siliguri, Kolkata, Gangtok, Guwahati, Jamshedpur, Shillong, Aizawl and New Delhi.

Zee Cinema launches Cinema Ka Baadshah mobile game

August 12, 2009

Zee Cinema, the 24 hour movie channel of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, has launched an mobile game, called Cinema Ka Baadshah, which aims to take the channel’s target audience interaction to digital platforms.

This is not the first time that Zee Cinema is using an digital activation to promote itself with the youth. Last year, it has launched an online game to promote its Shanivaar Ki Raat Sitaron Ke Saath property.

The Cinema Ka Baadshah game is downloadable on mobile network with active GPRS for Rs 10. The game has elements like live characters, digital sound effects, high definition visual look and a storyline, which represents a Bollywood movie in its own style.

The new game, which aims to set new benchmarks for the industry, has been launched by the little wonders – Afsha and Dhairya on Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs reality show.

Speaking to, Mohan Gopinath, business head, Zee Cinema, says, “We opted for an mobile game because it is a popular format for digital marketing and it also help us to derive revenues out of the mobile platform”

Gopinath adds, “We are promoting the game through our own channel and using word of mouth advertising to attract the youth. We have provided a 360 degree entertainment to our viewers with properties like Klub MJ Hunt, our online game – Shanivaar Ki Raat and now Cinema Ka Badshah.”