Television

Zee TV still banking on SEC B&C

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MUMBAI: Zee TV still feels that focusing on SEC B and C segments, primarily the Indian middle class, would drive in the ratings at a time when the other entertainment channels are lining up programmes designed to cater to the urban SEC A and B audiences.

"Zee TV has been an SEC B & C channel and will continue to be so, Essel Group corporate brand development head Ashish Kaul tells indiantelevision.com.

Kaul also offers an explanation for sticking with the SEC B& C segments: Our subscription revenue has gone
up over the last couple of months and this seems to indicate that our viewership has increased too. Unfortunately, it is not reflecting on the ratings, but we are not too hassled by this fact.

Pointing out that Astitva too was aimed at SEC B&C segments though it coincidentally enjoyed good viewership in SEC A segment too, Kaul says, "We are not targeting the urban or niche market through Zee TV. Our main focus has been and will continue to be the middle class Hindi heartland."

With the channel's talent hunt India's Best Cinestar Ki Khoj having inched its way into the all-India Top 100 list with ratings between 2 and 2.5, Zee TV seems to have ruffled up some competition for Sony 's strong weekend products and is tweaking its fixed point chart to get better results and ratings too.

But that again is something that Zee dismisses as sheer coincidence. For all official purposes, it's the SEC B& C segments that Zee TV is continuing to target.

Zee TV plans to garner viewership from children. The channel is looking at launching an animated series, Chi & Me, on 15 November at 6:30 p.m.

The ET- inspired animated strip would have a cute alien 'Chi' bonding with a child protagonist and this fare would extend the kids band by another half an hour.

As for luring the grown ups, the channel is putting on air a supernatural thriller, Rooh, from today at 8 p.m.

The move to introduce a thriller series on weekends had been a much-planned move. Since Rooh doesn't have 'blood and gore', the channel is optimistic there would be no problems with the serial at a fairly early evening slot.

Zee's answer to Sony's Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahi, Kareena Kareena, which airs Monday to Thursday 9:30 p.m., has seen fairly good opening numbers, 1.17-1 TRP's for the CS 4 + in the Hindi speaking market, during its debut
week.

Although Zee TV denies any pre-planned move to target Sony, the new launches, particularly their timings, suggest otherwise. According to the channel, Kareena Kareena is about aspirations of a small town girl.

Meanwhile, with India's Best having reached its penultimate stage (the grand finale is tentatively scheduled for 3 December), Zee TV is gearing up for its next reality show, Business Baazigar.

For the proposed reality show, Zee TV is slowly initiating ground promotions at busy malls across the country and other such community places. It has been claimed that close to 25,000 entries have already been received. About 125 best entries would be shortlisted for the television event.

Will the programming efforts help Zee TV regain some of the lost glory and capture viewer's attention in its traditional base of SEC B&C segments? That's something only time will tell.

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