With a khwaish (desire) to dethrone the No 1,
Zee TV has acquired some of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters and
lined up some new serials and is making a splash with them,
including having press conferences in New Delhi where oomph babe Mallika
Sherawat interacts with the audience. Whether her debut film Khwaish
--- the movie that features 17 smooches and her --- would be retained
in full on the small screen, the channel is not saying.
and Aroona Irani in Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahan that launches 12 October
at 9.30 pm
and Vikas Bhalla in Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahan
"We have acquired some of the newest Hindi movies to be aired
via Airtel Thursday Premiere and are hoping that they'd be as much
of a sellout as the earlier ones," Zee TV president Apurva
Purohit said on Monday at a press conference in Delhi on Monday
to announce the channel's new programming strategy.
Airtel has come in as the presenting sponsor for the newest lot
of Hindi movies.
Roy and Ayesha Jhulka in Kabhi Kabhi that launches 9
October at 8 pm
The films that are slated to be aired on Zee TV include already-running
-in the-theatres flicks like Darna Mana Hain and Chalte
Chalte, amongst others like Priyadarshan's comedy Hungama,
Amitabh Bachchan-Anil Kapoor starrer Armaan, Chori Chori
and Ek Aur Ek Gyarah. According to Purohit, global satellite
telecast rights of some of the films like Chalte Chalte have
been acquired enabling the network to air them in countries like
the UK and the US where Zee has a presence. Approximately an additional
60 brands have also come on board the Zee platform since the Thursday
Premiere launched last year, including FMCG MNC Hindustan Levers,
which had shunned Zee for nearly two years, Purohit said on Tuesday.
But the Thursday films can only get in the audience, not retain
them. To cover its flanks, Zee TV has been lining up some good serials
and weekend programmes.
and Rajesh Khera in Kabhi Kabhi
As part of that initiative, Zee TV will launch two of its mega
shows to celebrate the festive season of October. To begin with,
the channel will unveil a mega show produced by Aroona Irani, Tum
Bin Jaaoon Kahan from 12 October at 9:30 pm daily from Sunday
to Wednesday. Next, a new and innovative show,Kabhie Kabhie,
a series short stories, will air every Thursday, Friday and Saturday
at 8:00 pm.
According to Purohit, "Zee TV has been consistently
drawing viewers through its innovative shows right from Jeena
Issi Ka Naam Hain to Antakshari, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and contemporary
serials like Astitva. We have always believed in showcasing
something different for our viewers. Introducing shows like Tum
Bin.., Kabhie Kabhie and the new lineup of blockbusters on Thursday
Premiere will definitely excite our viewers."
She also added, "With Tum Bin..., a show produced by
Aroona Irani, viewers will surely get some fresh entertainment.
Today viewers are conscious as to what they want to watch and they
demand different programmes, which breaks the mould. With serials
like Tum Bin... and Kabhie Kabhie, we would like to
the break the predictable pattern followed by others."
Speaking on the occasion, Aroona Irani, the well known Bollywood
celebrity and producer of the show said, "I am happy and excited
to showcase Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan on Zee TV and am quite sure
that viewers will enjoy watching the new serial. While producing
this serial, I have been closely associated with Zee TV and now
there is an emotional connect with the channel."
But Purohit is, of course, bullish that these programmes would
not only create the buzz, but also bring in the much-needed TRPs
that can be flaunted to the world too.
"We, like the industry, had an issue with the TRPs because
of the methodology of TAM. But some of the concerns have been redressed.
If you study the TAM data, then you'd see that we are very strong
amongst women viewers in prime time," she said, pointing out
that programmes like Astitva have retained good TRPs.
However, she reiterated that having got the women of the household
within the Zee TV fold, it's time to attract the males and the kids
too --- a fact that she had opined in an interview
with indiantelevision.com some months back been started and
some weekend thrillers are in the pipeline, pre-dominantly aimed
at male viewers.
Purohit admits that during the last quarter, Zee Telefilms' advertising
revenue had declined, while the subscription revenue had upped.
"We feel that by the end of the current financial year ad revenue
too would have picked up having got over the residual effect of
the cricket World Cup (held earlier this year)," she added
optimistically, adding that hopefully in this recovery of ad revenues
it would be Zee TV that would lead the way.
For the first quarter of financial year 2003-04 ended June 2003,
Zee Telefilms subscription revenue was Rs 1,428 million showing
an increase of 40.5 per cent as compared to the corresponding period
last fiscal. Advertisement revenue was Rs 1,212 million, lower by
13.4 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last fiscal.
Domestic subscription revenue was Rs 512 million, an increase of
68.4 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last fiscal.
The company had ended financial year 2002 with a net profit of Rs
2600 million, a jump of 35 per cent over last year, and a turnover
of Rs 1,2000 million.
Can Star Plus be dethroned from the top spot as Purohit and gang
are expecting? We'll have to wait and Zee.