Vijay TV plots new gameplan for prime time

MUMBAI: Star India's Tamil channel Vijay TV has a new prime time strategy on the anvil. The channel is presently revamping its 9 to 10 pm band and will be initiating a change in the 10 to 11 pm band as well, post July.

Vijay TV is also in process of re-planting its morning kids band to the evening slot with an expanded time period. "We are launching a reverse quiz show, Grand Master, in the 9:30 pm weekday slot. Our existing game show Vasool Rani moves to the 9 pm slot, making the 9 to 10 pm band a total gameshow slot. The 5:30 pm to 7 pm band will be converted to a kids band in July. All the soaps placed in the 7 to 9 pm band will come to a logical ending, paving way to a new set. Later this year, we will attempt a revamp in the 10 to 11 pm time band also," says Vijay TV GM Ravi Menon.

Grand Master is inspired by the successful Kairali TV gameshow Ashwamedham, conceptualised by the popular Malayalam television host G S Pradeep. (Ashwamedham had been the channel driver for Kairali TV in its early years.) Pradeep himself will be anchoring Grand Master in Vijay. The show, launching on 12 June, will be promoted through movie theatres in a novel publicity drive, according to Menon.

"We will be running the Grand Master promos in about 80 theatres in Tamil Nadu. This is a different kind of marketing strategy we have initiated to grab the eyeballs of the attentive audience," he says.

Meanwhile, the six-month old show Vasool Rani, which pursues the female TG as the name suggests, is being re-packaged. The studio-based show will now move to the outdoors. "In an attempt to provide variety and kill any kind of fatigue factor, we have conceptualised a Mobile Vasool Rani. Vasool Rani vans will travel across the state, making it much easier for the mass to participate in the show," says Menon.

After launching a chat show You and Me on Sundays, Vijay TV is now looking at beefing up the weekend programming with a youth-oriented show. Titled EQ (Entertainment Quotient), the show will be a state-wide competition to find out the college with the best 'entertainment quotient'. Vijay TV has instituted an ever-rolling trophy for the winner of this talent hunt, making it an annual affair.

"We are confident about the programme delivering decent returns since it has a sponsorship friendly format. It has already created a curiosity among advertisers," says Menon.

Speaking on the 10 to 11 pm revamp, Menon said the timeframe for this initiative would depend on how the 9 to 10 pm revamp delivers. "Presently we have the crime show Kuttram and Kathu Karuppu running in this band. This is a time band, which gets the attention of the entire family. Hence, we are looking at slightly more expanded viewership and the plan is to bring in shows which will appeal to the whole family," says Menon.

The show, which presently garners the best ad rates for Vijay TV is The Great Indian Laughter series. The Great Indian Laughter Challenge was followed by the Champions and now the channel is gearing up to launch the second version of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.

"We haven't revised our ad rates as such, but the channel has arrived at a benchmark ad rate with the success of TGILC. The channel has now three to four shows delivering very well compared to the earlier case of having one or two good shows. Advertisers on board are surely going to benefit because they have more popular shows to invest in now," points out Menon.


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