Alpha Marathi scores in Ganesh festival coverage

In the western Indian state of Maharashtra the Ganesh festival is huge. And this year the Marathi language channels have tried their levellest to outdo each other in scoring with the audience.

Zee's Alpha Marathi seems to have got the edge in the effort as the festival reaches its peak, although national broadcaster Doordarshan's Sahyadri channel has also given a good account of itself. The 10-day festival climaxes this Saturday, 1 September and all the three leading Marathi channels (Alpha Marathi, Sahyadri and ETV Marathi) will have live coverage of the proceedings.

This is the first time that all the regional channels have taken special efforts to capture the spirit of the Ganesh festival with an aim to boost their viewership.

Alpha Marathi has geared up for the Ganesh Festival in the real sense with morning slots totally devoted to it. At 7 in the morning Alpha is showing Bappa Morya followed by Dewachiye Dwari anchored by veteran Theosophist Jayant Salgaonkar. Both are basically devotional programmes giving more insights about Ganesha as well as the various rituals as well as various other aspects of the festival. Stavan is another programme which gives all details of the Pooja rituals as well as prayers. Bappa Aala Re is another programme which is also shown in the morning, which is basically a discussion on various social issues related to the festival.

DD Sahyadri kicked off its proceedings with a dance ballet on the first day of the festival, Ganesh Chathurthi. The advantage DD got was on the fourth day when they showed live the the high profile Pune Festival, a yearly feature becoming famous even outside India. Congress party president Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the event.

From today to 29 August, Sahyadri will be showing features on various Ganesh temples in and around Maharashtra. There are also other programmes which have been put together for the festival.

ETV Marathi seems to have missed the bus with hardly one programme Rangat Rangala Ganaray which consists of folk songs, slotted at 11 at night. Gani Tumachi Aamachi which is a regular programmes of (recommended) songs has been devoted to the festival as the programming team will be shooting in various Ganesh Pandals in various cities in the state.

The last day's proceedings i.e. Anant Chaturdashi on 1st of September will see all three channels converging at south Mumbai's famous Chowpatty Beach with live coverage of immersion activities.

In the time of falling TRPs let us see whether Ganesha is of any help to these channels in garnering the revenue pie.

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