TV Tower and Sahyadri, which houses DDK Mumbai's offices
It rarely gets the opportunity to blow its trumpet or extol the
virtues of behind the scenes executives who mastermind some of the
most popular shows on TV. But figures speak for themselves. While
newly come rivals Alpha and ETV throw around hefty TRPs and reach
figures, the humble DD Sahyadri is often the leader, unacknowleded,
of many programming initiatives and ground events.
Burdened as it is with the onerous task of marrying entertainment
with mass appeal to social messaging, Sahyadri has nevertheless
succeeded in making a hit out of genres that most others did not
Merchant - 'What's the Good Word?' was one of the most popular
indoor sports in the 70s
Scratch the profiles of some of the most well known television
professionals today, and a connection with DDK Mumbai surfaces.
Well know producer director Vinay Apte is a DD alumnus, as is former
Zee TV president and now independent producer Madhavi Mutatkar.
Sabira Merchant with her What's the Good Word, Tabassum with
her Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan and Kamleshwar with
his Chakravyuh all cut their professional teeth while at
DD Mumbai in the 70s, while newsreaders Dolly Thakur, Harish Bhimani,
Bhakti Barve, Smita Patil all became known faces thanks to the channel.
It wasn't exactly lack of competition that allowed DD Mumbai to
rule the minds and time schedules of Bombayites in the '70s and
'80s when DD National spawned the technicolour Metro as a rival.
Shows like Gajra, Marathi plays, even series like Chimanrao
and Shwetambara were the stuff that classy shows are
made of today. Mutatkar, who joined DD as a rookie back in the 70s
and climbed through the ranks, says celebrity talk shows like Rooperi
which she initiated on DD Mumbai, and variety entertainment programme
Gajra were later replicated by several other channels. "Stalwarts
like Vijaya Dhumale whom I worked under, taught us the importance
of groundwork required to mount a good programme," she says.
Mutatkar also worked with Meena Vaishnavi, who came from a NFDC
background, and who was responsible for launching Shwetambara,
the first drama series ever to be telecast on DD. "These were
the teachings that came in handy when I later mounted the Alpha
channels for Zee," she says.
shows percentage cumulative reach of Marathi channels in Maharashtra
(for week 14 Sept to 20 Sept 2003)-
While satellite rivals have managed to steal a considerable part
of the thunder from the programming that was DDK Mumbai's hallmark,
the channel that was re-christened Sahyadri three years ago to give
it a fresh image and identity, continues to soldier on with innovative
content ideas. While its interactive phone in talk show Hello Sakhi
inspired a near cult following in the state, spawning similar shows
on rival channels, the latest from DD Sahyadri is Jokes Apart,
a five minute vignette show with a social message built in.
shows weekly time spent in watching (minutes) (for week 14 Sept
to 20 Sept 2003)-
"Every joke that we will tell on the programme will have a deeper
message in it about issues like AIDS, education, drinking and driving,
use of mobile phones while driving etc. So in a rather light hearted
manner we will be spreading a lot of awareness," says station director
Mukesh Sharma, known for changing the look and image of the channel
among advertisers in the three years he has taken over.
shows percentage weekly channel shares (for week 14 Sept to 20 Sept
Speaking on DDK Mumbai's 31st anniversary, Sharma spoke at length
about the channel's initiatives, strategies, role and acheivements
in the past years. "There are a lot of new initiatives and plans
lined up. Changes are always there. It is a constant process but
it takes time. If we want to bring about a change in our strategy,
it will take time to implement it," Sharma says.
Talking about their programming strategy Sharma said, "We are focussed
as a public broadcaster and our programming is very relevant. We
have education awareness programmes and programmes with a message.
It is easy to make a saas bhi kabhi bahu thi type serial but programming
with the aim of spreading awareness among the public is not easy.
To cater to all this, Shayadri has a very important role to play."
shows of DD Mumbai over the years-
|Gift of Love
||Shri Vinay Dhumale
||Shri Vinayak Chaskar
||Shri Vinayak Chaskar
|From darkness to light(Educational
||Shri Shivaji Fulsunder
|Tak Dhina Dhin
||Shri Kishan Meghani
||Shri Sharan Birajdar
||Smt Shailaja Pandya
||Smt Sheela Junnarkar
While the 30th anniversary of DD Sahyadri was a quiet affair,
marked by a low key launch of its website (first DD kendra to do
so, after DD Jaipur), the 31st birthday is to be marked in some
style. The third edition of the DD Awards are to be held in Mumbai
on 22 November. The channel has also lined up a new year special
programme. The packaging and marketing of the newly launched Friday
films slot will be done by DDK Mumbai. "We have also bagged a lush
package of R.K Films worth 20 million rupees. To add to this DD
Metro is also coming up with a news channel. So there are a lot
of things lined up for DD and we have our hands full," says an enthused
station director Mukesh Sharma
He has reason to be. DD Mumbai has always been pro active when
it came to bringing in changes in the pubcaster's functioning. Mumbai
was the first Kendra in India to go digital, to start regional networking
by linking all the transmitters in Maharastra with Mumbai thus fulfilling
the public demand of programmes in its own language. When afternoon
transmission was started on 26 January 1989, it was DDK Mumbai which
provided the software. Similiarly, the movie channel started in
1995 was managed from Mumbai.
After the influx of satellite television, DD Mumbai began life anew
as DD-10, a regional language satellite service that started broadcast
from 1 October 1993, providing programmes in Marathi to C&S TV homes
all over the country. The duration of telecast was increased to
17 hours per day from 1 January 2000. From 5 April 2000, DD-10 was
renamed DD Sahyadri and started round the clock transmission.
Talking about DD's USP, Sharma says the reach itself is the USP
of the channel. "It can go to places where no other channel can.
We are primarily a social programming channel. We cater to the citizens
of the country and not to the commercial lot of shareholders," said
Talking about sources of revenue for the terrestrial channel, Sharma
said, "Like any other market player we sell our time slot. The packaging
and presenting has to be as glamourous and attractive as it can
be. We sell our time slots directly and we also have other people
marketing for us. We don't have the single window system in marketing
like most others do."
Last year, DD Mumbai managed to get Rs 180 million worth of business
for the channel. "When we did business for the National network
last year, we spent Rs 1.5 million and earned Rs eight million in
return," says Sharma. On the DD Awards last year, DD Mumbai which
played host, spent Rs four million and cashed in eight million rupees
from it. Chitrahaar and Rangoli, the weekly film music shows, marketed
by DD Mumbai, continue to be the cash cows for DD, earning over
90 million rupees.
About the difference between DD National and DDK Mumbai, Sharma
says, "DD Delhi caters to the nation and does not specifically cater
to the regional audience, whereas DDK Mumbai specifically caters
to the Marathi speaking audience." While DD Delhi does it own programming,
DDK outsources too.
Also read :
DD Sahyadri has its own
sourced from DD Sahyadri's official website