Alpha Telugu set to battle it out with Gemini, ETV

MUMBAI: Zee's entry into the Telugu airspace with Alpha Telugu is expected to trigger a high-octane race in the Telugu market as the mainstream network enters a realm ruled by the likes of the Sun Network-owned Gemini TV and Teja TV, ETV, Raj TV's Vissa TV and news channel TV9.

As already reported by, Alpha Telugu kicks off its operations from 12 September.

According to a recent Tam analysis for the Andhra Pradesh market (AP 1 Mn. + towns including Hyderabad, C&S audiences 4 years and above), 76 per cent of the market share is distributed among Gemini, ETV and Teja.

The message is clear. Alpha Telugu has a long haul ahead of it as it enters a market already crowded with not less than 10 channels. And the channel's conscious effort to beat the challenge is reflected in the programming mix it has prepared to kick off its campaign.

Monday to Friday: serials and movies, Saturday to Sunday: movies, entertainment and interactive shows, and overall a stress on current affairs and news - that is the programming recipe Alpha Telugu has prepared to woo the Telugu market.

News being one of the strongest market drivers for Telugu channels; Alpha Telugu will be devoting on an average daily three hours for news telecast and an extra three hours during the weekends for business news, special bulletins, informative programmes and interactive shows. Film-related programmes occupy the major chunk of the daily schedule of the channel - about eight hours. The channel will air Hollywood movies dubbed in Telugu in the late night slot of 11:30 pm. Serials will consume approximately five hours daily and the schedule also figures youth-oriented programmes, cookery shows and spiritual programmes.

Says Alpha Telugu assistant vice president N Seshadri, "Alpha Telugu will be extending the present programming formula in Telugu which is movies and soaps to reality-based shows. We have got very good response from the advertisers so far."

When queried about the channel's strategy to win the news market share, Seshadri said the channel would be focusing on the local news.

"The Telugu people are more interested in the regional news. So our focus will be the happenings of Andhra Pradesh," he says.

The production houses the channel has involved itself for primetime soaps include Kedia Entertainment, Sree Venkateswara Creations, Viswa Communications, Rudraksha Enterprises, Anjali Telecommunications and Pro Rearch Media Enterprises.

Kedia Entertainment is producing Vijay Samrat, which will air Monday-Friday at 9 pm. Sree Venkateswara Creations-produced daily soap Peddarikam is slotted for 9:30 pm. Viswa Communications' Aparadhi follows next. The Agencie, which will air on Saturdays at 8 pm, is produced by Rudraksha Enterprises. Anjali Telecommunications-produced daily show Nako Kodalu Kavali, is scheduled for 3 pm. Another daily show Khushi scheduled for 11 pm is being produced by Pro Rearch Media Enterprises.

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