Zee TV to revert to Monday-Thursday programming matrix

MUMBAI: After almost two years of flirting with a 'different' programming schedule, Subhash Chandra flagship channel Zee TV is going back to the traditional format. So out goes the Thursday Premiere slot and the Sunday to Wednesday prime time programming matrix.

The back to "traditional matrix" change goes into effect from 27 September. From that day on, Zee TV's weekday primetime shows will run from Mondays through to Thursdays while the channel's big movie of the week will air on Sundays instead of the present Thursday 8 pm slotting.

Zee introduces its revamped FPC with its big movie acquisition of the year Munnabhai MBBS, which is scheduled to air on Sunday 26 September at 8 pm.

Speaking exclusively to, Zee TV business head Abhijit Saxena says, "We will be reverting back to the original Monday to Thursday programming from 27 September. In addition to that, we are discontinuing the Thursday Premiere slot."

Despite some persistent prodding, Saxena was, however, reluctant to spell out details. But he did offer that the channel would be launching at least two new shows every month over the next few months. The industry buzz is that Zee is looking introducing 8-10 new releases over the next quarter.

In addition to the slew of releases, the channel is also negotiating for the telecast rights of a couple of recent Bollywood releases. The channel has reportedly snagged the telecast rights of Mani Ratnam's multi-starrer Yuva , which though it didn't work its charm at the box office, got some critical acclaim.

Touted as the pioneer of the Hindi general entertainment genre on cable and satellite platform in India, Zee TV, for the past five years, has been struggling to get back into the viewership sweepstakes under business and programming heads who have come and gone with rapid regularity. Can the latest innovation, courtesy the new team, manage to turn the tide?

When quizzed, Optimum Media Solutions executive vice-president Amit Ray offered an interesting viewpoint, "It seems like a good move but there is something more fundamental that Zee needs to focus on. No amount of shuffling day parts and snagging blockbusters rights is going to help. If the masses are viewing 'saas-bahu' soaps, then give them better 'saas-bahu' stuff. You can't be innovating 365 days or think that marketing and promotional plugs will help you better the ratings."

MindShare Fulcrum national trading director Pat Vinayak has a different take on it though. "Its a good move on Zee's part to go back to the Monday-Thursday viewing. I think enough innovation has been done with the Sunday slot. Sunday is a low audience day, period. Although it is premature to predict if this move will bring back viewers or not, one can assume that the viewer base will increase."

About the scrapping of the Thursday Premiere slot, Vinayak says, "While the premiere movie slot did work initially, it eventually failed in the long run. You cannot have a 52-week blockbuster line-up and hence the initial curiosity weaned."

"Additionally, Thursday is really the high point of the serials and the general public cannot really be enticed to shift their focus during the climax," she points out.

"The attention span of viewers is diminishing every passing year. Innovation is the name of the game. A year ago, Zee thought starting on Sunday would give them an edge. Zee did not gain by the shift in strategy. So they are obviously going back to the Monday-Thursday format . I think it is a good idea to keep reviewing gain and loss due to a shift in strategy," Lodestar and Interface Media's national media director Nandini Dias opines.

"While most people have a set pattern in the week, what they do every weekend may differ. It may be difficult for viewers to keep continuity if the serial continues on a Sunday," Dias says.

But she isn't as optimistic as Vinayak. "I do not think it is going to change the viewer base. But it may increase sampling of programmes," she says.

On the Sunday movie slotting Dias opines, "It is a fact that movie watching happens more during the weekend. Most Indian movies are three or three-and-a-half hours. It may be difficult for most people to spend that kind of time during a week day. And that is true for almost all target groups. Having said that, there are examples of movies which have done well on a week day. Obviously, it also depends on the title that is being aired."

Starcom group head, broadcast investment Gautam Rajgopal offers, "Zee really needed to look into its programming. Albeit marginally, this move will help Zee broaden its viewer base."

"As far as movies go, I think the weekend is the best bet," Rajgopal adds.

All-in-all, the informed members of the media have given a cautious thumbs-up to Zee's latest move. Now it remains for the viewers to take the bait.

Latest Reads
Watch Rani Mukerji’s ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award’ winning performance in ‘Hichki’ only on Sony MAX

After garnering success at the box office and a heart-warming response from the audience, the Rani Mukerji starrer ‘Hichki’ is all set for its Worldwide Television Premiere only on Sony Pictures Networks’ number 1 Hindi movie channel, Sony MAX on Saturday, 26th March at 9pm. Directed by Siddharth...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
World Television Premiere of Raid on Star Gold

This May, Star Gold to bring the World Television Premiere of Raid. Touted as first Bollywood project to be based on an Income Tax raid, this Ajay Devgn starrer hit will be showcased on 27th May 2018, Sunday at 1 PM on Star Gold.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
Travelxp explores Nagaland this month; Strictly Street, Krazee Foodie return for second seasons

Travelxp, the world’s leading travel channel, continues to excite its viewers with its popular show ‘Xplore Nagaland’ and new seasons of ‘Strictly Street’ and ‘Krazee Foodie’ as it continues to bring an experience of new places, diverse cultures and exotic cuisine straight to viewers’ living rooms...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
BBC StoryWorks expands into India

BBC StoryWorks, the global content marketing team within BBC Global News Ltd, has expanded into India with staff now based in the country for the first time as part of wider growth across the Asia Pacific region.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Firstpost turns 7: a look back at the milestones

MUMBAI: India’s leading digital news platform known for its path breaking content and remarkable journalism, celebrates 7 years in the industry. The platform was launched in 2011 by Network18 as an exclusive online news and views website and app accessible across platforms and...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Star to telecast IPL finale on 17 channels, adds Marathi Malayalam feeds

On the evening of 27 May, Star India wants to ensure you see nothing but IPL on your TV screens, no matter where you are or what language you speak. It has roped in Star Pravah and Asianet movies to add two new language feeds for better reach of the IPL 2018 in Marathi and Malayalam respectively.

Television TV Channels Sports
Sunil Lulla joins Balaji Telefilms as group CEO

MUMBAI: Indian production company Balaji Telefilms has appointed Sunil Lulla as its new group chief executive officer. His new role will be effective from 25 May 2018. He will replace Sameer Nair who quit the company to join Applause Entertainment.

Television TV Channels People
Nielsen on changing landscape of global sports

MUMBAI: The global sports industry is undergoing more disruption than ever as a result of ongoing shifts in media consumption, the emergence of new technologies and a rapidly evolving sponsorship market.

Television TV Channels Sports
ITW Consulting appoints Navneet Sharma as president, international strategy, sales & IP development

ITW Consulting, a global sports commerce specialising in crafting and executing multi-faceted brand management solutions across sports, entertainment and media, has appointed Navneet Sharma as president international strategy sales and IP development w.e.f. from May 2018.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories