Alpha's Apna awards to heighten viewer loyalty

NEW DELHI: The countrys first private regional language channel in non-southern states of India, Alpha Marathi, turns five on 15 August and wants to celebrate in style by adopting the triple A or the Apna Alpha Awards.


The triple A is a concept that seeks to further increase interactivity between the channel and its viewers who get to vote their favourite serials, actors etc on this Marathi language channel, which has claimed that in terms of TRPs, it runs neck and neck with Star Plus.

We conceived the Apna Alpha Award event not only to celebrate completion of five years, but also reward our viewers and involve them more in the functioning of the channel, Alpha Marathi channel Nitin Vaidya says.

A gala event, after the whole voting process is over, would be held in Mumbai on 11 August and televised on Alpha Marathi on 15 August. On the same day, names of 10 winning families will be announced and will be crowned the Alpha Marathi families. These families will get surprise gift hampers and recognition from the channel.

Alpha Marathi business head Nitin Vaidya

Pointing out that Alpha Marathi has become a household name not only in Maharashtra, but also in Marathi speaking pockets of India, Vaidya says the channel caters to almost six million cable and satellite homes in Maharashtra only.

Zee Telefilms Ltd, which owns the Alpha Marathi channel and brand, does see an opportunity in Triple A as it could be built up into a big TV event, something to the effect that Star India has done with Star Parivaar Awards on Star Plus.

Though Vaidya is loathe to admit that his brain-child has resemblance to a rivals product, he does admit with candour that there are plans to make the Triple A event an annual feature from this year, which would be promoted and televised in a big way.

For this year, we are positioning the awards as a mini general elections as it is appropriately placed after the Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections and before the state assembly elections in Maharashtra, Vaidya said.

Though a primary part of the promotional activities would be on-air, some on-ground initiatives too have been lined up, all of which would start in about 10 days. Apart from Mumbai, on-ground promotional activities would be held in most other cities in the state with population of over a million.

There are three ways by which viewers can vote --- through physical ballot papers that will be available at the all the 1,000 Playwin counters and through cable operators (900 head ends in Maharashtra would be used for this); through SMS on 7575 and through IVRS (interactive voice recording system).

Close to 10 lakh ballot papers will be available for the viewers,  Vaidya said, adding that producers of programmes on Alpha Marathi have been mobilised to create awareness about their respective programmes amongst their viewer segment.

What would be the budget of an event like this be? Vaidya goes mum on this, preferring to say that considering that other award shows like Alpha Gaurav draw good attention and recognition for advertisers from viewers, Apna Alpha Award too will be another step in the same direction. We are in the process of tying up sponsors, he adds.

Would the triple A event deliver the TV ratings for Alpha Marathi? One would have to wait and see.

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