Titanic ratings spurs Vijay to bring in more dubbed movies

MUMBAI: Its reality shows are working, but it's the dubbed Hollywood blockbuster that's helping Vijay score over rivals in Tamil Nadu.

Star TV CEO Michelle Guthrie was not far off the mark when she pointed out at Frames 2004 that it was the dubbed properties that were fetching Star India better ratings than original Hindi movies. Titanic, dubbed in Tamil, has done a similar trick for Star's Vijay down South. While rivals have scoffed at Vijay's claim of a 51.1 per cent channel share in Tamil Nadu on the evening of 29 February when the film was aired, saying it was a one off spurt, Vijay is exulting in the impressive 15.3 TVR in raked in the rest of Tamil Nadu and 19.8 TVR in Chennai.

Vijay's head of programming Suresh Iyer says the channel now has more such blockbusters in the pipeline for the year. Says Iyer, We put in a lot of efforts to ensure that viewers had a memorable time watching Titanic in Tamil. The high quality dubbing ensured that movie viewing experience remained intact."

For the period between 11 am and 4 pm on that day, Vijay, usually a guarded number three in the numbers game in Tamil Nadu, had a majestic 66.2 per cent channel share in capital Chennai. Comparitive figures quoting TAM, show rival Sun TV with a channel share of 13.5 per cent and Sun sibling KTV with a share of 3.9 per cent. In the rest of Tamil Nadu, Sun TV fared a shade better with a share of 21.8 per cent, while KTV cornered a share of 7.7 per cent.

The film helped Vijay secure all time high TVRs in both Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu. Says Vijay TV GM Ajay Vidyasagar," Epics like Titanic are timeless and will attract eyeballs. These are indications that consumption habits are undergoing a change."

In recent weeks, Vijay launched new shows in the reality genre - one a game show Vai Raja Vai, aired on weekends and a daily election special programme Makkal Yaar Pakkam, both of which, according to Iyer are attracting a lot of attention among viewers.

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