Tara takes on a new look

The Broadcast Worldwide-promoted Tara regional channel bouquet has recently launched a collection of Hindi and Punjabi songs in partnership with Milestone Entertainment. The audio cassette has been titled Tara Rum Pum clearly indicating its Tara Punjabi lineage. The broadcaster intends to further release these cassettes in all the regional languages it is aired in. "This new exercise is targeted at increasing awareness of the channel," says a source in Broadcast Worldwide.

For a long time the company's survival has been speculated about, and one regularly has heard the buzz of a complete sellout, courtesy the tough times it has been passing through. But the management, led by promoter (and former Star TV India chairman) R. Basu, has managed to stay afloat.

In the current exercise he has halved the staff - especially the production team - strength to 200. And he is using the $800,000 worth of investment Broadcast Worldwide attracted from Mauritian company Crombie International to revive its flagging Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati channels and increase subscriber awareness.

Four new shows are being introduced on Tara Bangla. Among them: an intercollegiate quiz hosted by Barry O'Brien (brother of quiz master Derek), and a half hour women's show Sukanaya, Both will be introduced in September.

Tara Marathi is being revamped with a new offering beginning 22 August called Snowcem Tara Ganesh Utsav. A panel of judges will be visiting selected community worship halls and homes with Ganesh pandals in Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Aurangabad and Nasik. In Mumbai there will be five awards for the best Ganesh home and sarvajanik puja pandals, while the outstation ones will be given two prizes.

The entire activity will be broadcast in half hour slots on Tara Marathi from 30 August backed by on air and offline advertising .Simultaneously Tara Marathi will be launching a music cassette called Snowcem Tara Ganesh Utsav, which will comprise of songs sung by famous artistes, including Marathi singer Suresh Wadkar. Approximately 7,000 of these cassettes will be distributed free.

Around October, the second half phase of revival will be undertaken. Tara Punjabi and Tara Gujarati will be similarly revamped.

Broadcast Wordwide director business development Pradipto Sircar says that channels drive to generate classified advertising is working out fine, thank you. Rates are being hiked on Tara Marathi (from Rs 300 to RS 400) and on Bangla (RS 400 to RS 500) for a thirty second still ad. "This exercise of broadcasting classified ads is mainly to utilise the unique localised strengths of the channels. It is quite an unique concept for channels and is highly cost effective," he says.

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