MUMBAI: A niche Hindi entertainment channel? Looks like that's what the Adhikari brothers' promoted SAB TV is setting out to be.
To mark its turning three years on air (23 April), SAB TV has gone in for a new look and a new positioning. If SAB TV's selling proposition to the viewer and the media planner last year was as a relief channel, now this has been taken a step further and the Adhikaris have gone the whole hog down the humour road. "Only Smiles, No Tears" is the channel's new tag line while SAB TV's logo base line "sab se alag" (different from everyone) reinforces the point.
Monday to Sunday on both the afternoon prime time (12 noon to 2:30 pm) and evening prime time (8 pm to 10:30 pm) will be chock-a-block with humour based shows, SABTNL vice-chairman and managing director Markand Adhikari tells indiantelevision.com.
The switchover to only humour on prime time begins Monday, 5 May with the launch of four new humor-based shows.
---Hassi Woh Phassi (a bi-weekly) - a comedy about a dentist who can read the thoughts of any woman when she smiles. It stars Shruti Ulfat, Seema Kapoor, Asif Basra and Suresh Menon.
---Sahib Biwi Ke Gulaam (bi-weekly), a sitcom has the seasoned Shubhangi Gokhale and Anjan Srivastava in the lead along with Deven Bhojani (of Office Office fame) and Nivedita.
---Dhaaba Junction (bi-weekly), based on two rival dhaabas (roadside eateries), is the comeback vehicle for satirist Jaspal Bhatti, in a completely new avtaar. Shot in a realistic 80-foot set at Film City, Mumbai, the ambience of a real dhaaba has beren recreated for this show.
---Bade Miyaa Chotte Miya (bi-weekly), a sitcom that has India's answer to Jay Leno motormouth Shekhar Suman in a double-role for the first time in a story about twins. There are also some serious rivalry problems between the two since Twin "A" who was born exactly five minutes before Twin "B" expects his younger brother to give him his due, and which happens, but only in his imagination...
SAB has gone into overdrive on the brand promotion front as well with a campaign that kicked off last Friday (18 April). The look of the channel has changed and an extensive on air as well as outdoor campaign seeks to reinforce the "Only Smiles, No Tears" proposition.
A teaser campaign in 14 cities across west and north India, including Mumbai and Delhi, which began on 18 April is currently running on hoardings, buses, trains and kiosks. In the Capital, where hoardings are banned, 500 kiosks have been taken up.
From 1 May the campaign will translate into programme specific branding and that will introduce the four new shows.
And what will all this achieve for the channel? Queried as to where SAB TV would stand in a post-CAS scenario, Adhikari said if properly implemented, it was bound to benefit his channel. The fact that SAB TV was uniquely positioned as primarily a comedy channel would make it a must carry not only on every cable platform but also on every media plan as well, he asserts.