Television

DD Sahyadri rakes in Rs 250 m in FY04

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MUMBAI: DD Sahyadri continues to be the cash cow among the pubcaster's regional horde.

The Marathi channel from the Doordarshan fold has earned revenues of Rs 250 million in the fiscal just ended, up Rs 50 million from FY 2002-2003. While the channel, which zoomed to the top of the heap among Marathi channels even among satellite channels two years ago, has had to face stiff competition in the last fiscal.

More than 50 per cent of the Top 60 programmes watched by Maharashtrian households even in C&S households belonged to Sahyadri till the beginning of 2003. The scenario has changed since then and Sahyadri has decided to react accordingly.

Not surprisingly, the channel has decided to change tack. Instead of focusing on soaps, which are a big draw on rival satellite channels like Alpha Marathi and ETV Marathi, Sahyadri will now concentrate on the genres that have been its strengths. Beginning 4 April 2004, Sahyadri along with other regional DD channels, has a different FPC, due to the change in the timings of the satellite feed supported terrestrially, which will now be from 3 to 8 pm daily.

This, says station director Mukesh Sharma, will allow the channel more reach during 3 and 8 pm as well as lessen the confusion in the minds of advertisers. Earlier, the daily FPC varied, with Sahyadri having to cut the local feed at different times to accommodate the national feed with shows like Chitrahaar and Rangoli.

The year ahead, says Sharma, will see Sahyadri having live interactive phone -in shows like Hello Sakhi shifting to the prime time slot of 8 - 9 pm five days a week, instead of the afternoon slot it occupied earlier. The live debates on Ghatnachakra will occupy pride of place in the Saturday line-up. Also in the Sahyadri kitty is the annual Navratna Awards which honour excellence in various fields and have been a big source of revenue as well as ratings for the channel.

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