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DD rewinds to old hit shows on its Metro channel as Nine Gold shuts off

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Today was the day after as national broadcaster Doordarshan's Metro channel turned the clock back a year after HFCL Nine Broadcasting took up the three-hour prime time band on the channel.

It was at 10:00 pm yesterday Nine Gold signed off on a quiet note on DD, a year after HFCL Nine bought the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm prime time slot for a massive Rs 1210 million. Nine Gold CEO Ravina Raj Kohli has been quoted as saying the real value of the band was actually not more than Rs 300 million.

Channel Nine Gold launched on the national broadcaster's Metro channel on 8 September 2000. However, with this slot becoming a hot property friction soon arose with the mandarins at DD who couldn't seem to come to terms with the new operational culture that had set in. By June, 2001 the only thing that was clear was that the contract between Channel Nine Gold and Doordarshan had hit a dead end and was living on borrowed time.

Kohli had said at the time that the serials on air would complete their runs. This has happened in part only. Weekly series like Piyaa Bina, Kavita and Zindagi Milke Betayange have had their run. Among the other serial are Mooch Nahi Toh Kuch Nahi, Choonch Ladi Re Chooch Ladi and the Archana Puran Singh-produced Samne Wali Khidki.

Three daily soap-sagas Jannat, Maan, and Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli have ended without any conclusion. Asked what would happen to these shows, an official spokesperson for Nine Gold said: "We are in talks with Star and Sony but nothing has been decided yet."

Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli, which aired from 9:30 pm to 10:00 pm, was the last show to air on DD Metro under the Nine Gold banner. At the end of the show credits of the Nine Gold's staff associated with programming, their business associates as well as in-house personnel scrolled down across the screen.

Meanwhile, DD is going it alone on the programming front (after its call for bids from private broadcasters met with a pathetic response. For the present, the 7-10 pm band will be filled with old re-runs. Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, whose producer recently won back the rights to the serial, will be the biggest serial in the new (old) line-up. The telecast will mark the comeback of the first sitcom on Indian television that made its debut on DD 14 years ago.

DD is also airing The Big Picture and re-runs of other series which were extremely popular series in the early 80's like Nukkad and Udaan.

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