Alpha readies to woo Gujarati hearts

MUMBAI: Zee's regional offering, Alpha Gujarati, is getting ready to tackle the enigma that is the Gujarati viewer.

While Gujarat accounts for one of the highest number of cable and satellite home connections in the country, its viewership of regional channels remains abysmal. One of the peculiarities of Gujarat is its affinity for Hindi mainstream channels and contribution to the high TRPs that go to make the success story of 'saas bahu' sagas; a trait which Alpha Gujarati business head Vidyadhar Khatavkar attributes to the 'adoptive' mentality of the Gujaratis.

The four year old satellite channel from the Alpha herd has now decided to step away from the sitcom and soap routine that had been thus far employed to entice the native Gujarati population. "10 of our shows, which feature in the top 20 in Gujarati channels, are all interactive shows," says Khatavkar. The top rated show on the channel is Aapni Rasoi, an interactive cookery show.

Analysing the peculiar mindset of the Gujarati viewer, Khatavkar says it is the more mature audience (age group 34+, male and female) which tunes into regional channels, while the younger set prefers Hindi satellite channels. Post 9.30 pm, it is de rigour to find audiences switching to mainstream channels, changing prime time definitions for the Gujarati channels in a huge way.

Alpha Gujarati has now decided to leverage its infotainment and current affairs programmes, leaving entertainment a mere 20 per cent of the programming mix. While the channel attempts to unravel what appeals to the quintessential Gujarati viewer, it has already launched and plans to unleash experimental genres on viewers. An interactive comedy Aap Hasao Gujarat Ne and an interactive show Ek Diwas Gammat No are already on air. Soon to launch is a travel show that will showcase family experiences of travel, both domestic and overseas. "The Gujarati mindset is changing," says Khatavkar. "While earlier he used to earn and save, now he is willing to spend, travel...even if he sticks to his kind of food!"

Top 20 shows across Gujarati channels in February 2004-

Program Channel
DHAT TERI KI ETV Gujarati 2/8/04 3.74
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/5/04 1.65
JAI GANGA MAIYA ETV Gujarati 2/13/04 3.32
DHAT TERI KI ETV Gujarati 2/22/04 3.61
MASI MAA ETV Gujarati 2/27/04 1.01
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/24/04 1.16
AAP NI R Alpha Gujarati 2/14/04 1.94
VAGDA NA PHOOL ETV Gujarati 2/8/04 2.63
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/10/04 2.17
HEADLINE NEWS Alpha Gujarati 2/5/04 1.5
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/6/04 1.57
GFF MAA BAAP NE BHOOLSO DD11 Gujarati 2/22/04 7.1
DHAT TERI KI ETV Gujarati 2/15/04 5.45
HEADLIN Alpha Gujarati 2/7/04 2.84
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/7/04 3.08
SAU DADHA SASU NA ETV Gujarati 2/11/04 1.96
GFF BHAGAT NARSINH MEHTA ETV Gujarati 2/14/04 3.24
AAP NI RASOI Alpha Gujarati 2/13/04 1.85
HEADLIN Alpha Gujarati 2/6/04 2.06
SAU DADHA SASU NA ETV Gujarati 2/13/04 1.92

Regional programming needs to be value based to succeed, he argues. So, instead of concentrating on entertainment led soaps, the channel plans to launch an interactive show that will hear consumer grievances and try to resolve them with the aid of an expert panel. Alpha Gujarati has also beefed up its news room, increased the number of news bulletins from two to nine daily, set up a local studio manned by 65 news people in Ahmedabad, armed with three robotic cameras and an editing studio with two editing suites. All of which has taken up a considerable chunk of the channel's annual budget, but which Khatavkar believes, will reap huge dividend in the months to come in terms of brand loyalty.

The interest in news and current affairs in Gujarat could also have been spiked by the spate of natural and manmade calamities that have marked Gujarat in the last three years, and the channel is capitalising on the interest. It is also catering to the native sense of business with Aap No Dhando, a business related feature that will showcase unusual career options, business ideas and the like.

Among the Alphas, Gujarati has a long way to climb. By steering clear of the beaten path and trying experimental genres, however, it has already charted its course.

Latest Reads
Maha Cartoon targets 65 per cent rural HSM via DD FreeDish, 2000 LCOs

Who can forget the Charlie Chaplin show which entertained the world audience of all ages. Maha Cartoon, the first free-to-air (FTA) Hindi cartoon channel targeted at the Hindi-speaking markets (HSM), will be launched on India's largest DTH platform DD FreeDish on 1 November. The new Maha Cartoon...

Television TV Channels Kids
Vikram Chandra steps down; KVL Narayan Rao is new NDTV group CEO

The rumours that were making rounds of Vikram Chandra quitting NDTV have now been put to rest.

Television TV Channels People
Naagin helps Colors capture top position this week: BARC

Backed by Naagin Season 2, Colors was almost close to Star Plus to get the number one position, but, this week, Colors went few steps ahead and grabbed the leadership position and replaced Star Plus in week 42. Even in Urban GECs market, Colors toppled Star and took over the number one position.

Television TV Channels Viewership
SPN India to broadcast Barclays ATP World Tour finals

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) will exclusively broadcast the upcoming ATP events in the month of November. The ATP 1000 Paris Masters will be aired live on Sony ESPN channels and will be streamed live on SonyLIV app and website. The ATP 1000 Paris Masters in Paris will begin on 31 October.

Television TV Channels Sports
Hunt for Zee Business head continues

MUMBAI: Zee Business, an arm of Zee Media Corporation, has seen several transitions in its management this year. The channel was initially headed by Amish Devgan, who decided to move away after serving for 14 years. It was then led by Zee Media Corporation’s then CEO for content Samir Ahluwalia,who...

Television TV Channels People
'King' content will take over monopolistic media entities, says Arnab Goswami

NEW DELHI: The future of news lies in breaking away from the interdependence of politicians and the media on each other.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Animated 'Ramayana' a global Diwali gift on web, mobile

NEW DELHI: Thirty episodes of the animated series Ramayana will be available around the world on the nexGTv web and mobile platforms during Diwali.

Television TV Shows Animation
Sports Minister lauds b'casters, other stakeholders in promoting sports

NEW DELHI: India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel said on Wednesday that digital media broadcasting will play a critical role in bringing about change in sports broadcasting in India but broadcasters must also focus on how sports as a product is delivered to audiences in rural areas so as to popularise...

Television TV Channels Sports
Know your karma on IBN7 with 'Karm Path'

In an attempt to give its viewers a refreshing start of the day, IBN7 is launching a new show titled Karm Path. Starting 27 October, the show will predict what the day holds. The show is a differentiator in its own genre as it connotes the supremacy of deeds over destiny.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories