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'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' powers Zee to new heights

MUMBAI: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005, the show which has become Zee TV's driver property, has completed its run on a high note. The talent hunt finale, which was aired live on 24 February, recorded a rating of 6.48 in the CS4+ HSM, according to Tam.

Powered by the finale rating, Zee TV recorded a channel share of 23.5 per cent during the 19 February to 25 February period, its best figure in the recent times as the second player in the Hindi General Entertainment Channel (GEC) space, CS4+, HSM, All Day. According to Tam, the GEC leader Star Plus recorded a channel share of 52.93 per cent while Sony Entertainment Television held 14.3 per cent.

When queried on Zee's reaction to the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finale ratings, Zee Telefilms vice president Ashish Kaul said the channel was satisfied with the finale performance. "Certainly there is no limit to success. But these numbers have made us very happy. It has been the best performance Zee TV recorded in the recent times," says Kaul.

"With this ratings, Zee TV has set itself a benchmark and the future efforts will be to better it," adds Zee TV marketing head Tarun Mehra.

Zee TV telecast the finale episode of the talent hunt show as deferred live on 24 February from 9 pm to 12 pm. According to Tam, the episode recorded a rating of 7.59 TVR in the three metros, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, while the All India rating stood at 4.51.

The All Day channel share data from the week starting 1 January to 19 February projects Zee TV's steady climb in the charts. In the week of 1 January, the channel recorded a share of 16.0 per cent against Star Plus' 59.2 per cent and Sony's 14.1 per cent.

The week of 8 January saw Zee TV improving its position to 18.3 per cent as compared to Star Plus (56.9 per cent) and Sony (13.7 per cent). Find the following weeks' data in the table given below. The channels are placed in the order: Star (1), Sony (2), Zee (3), Sahara (4), Sab (5).

During the eight week period, Star Plus recorded an average channel share of 56.1 per cent, followed by Zee TV (19.8 per cent) and Sony (14 per cent).

However, Star's attempt to put a spoke in Zee's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finale party by launching the second season of the popular Star One show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge on the D-Day (in the 10 pm to 11 pm time band) raised the mercury in the rating charts. Star One ended the day with 5.06 TVR (CS4+ HSM Base).

Speaking on the channel's plans to sustain the good show, Kaul said Zee TV was working on all fronts. "You can't just depend on a single show to take the channel ahead. During the course of time, we have also developed strong properties in Sinndoor, Saath Phere and Kasamh Se. With Manoj Bajpai as anchor, Kam Ya Zyaada was targeted at a section of the audiences, and the strategy has worked. The success of the show has been its consistent basis without many fluctuations. Then we have new programmes coming up, including the latest Sa Re Ga Ma Pa offering, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu and the Johnny Lever anchored show Johny Ala Re," he says.

The channel is yet to divulge information on the replacements for the outgoing prime time shows Sarrkkar and Rabba Ishq Na Hove. "We are finalisng our plans and there is a strong line-up of properties coming up," says Mehra.

Sustaining the second position and then improving it further to the top spot would definitely not be an easy task for Zee TV as the competition is gearing up for some fresh campaigns. Star Plus has launched its brand new game show Jodee Kamaal Ki as a replacement to Kaun Banega Crorepati 2 in the Saturday 9 pm slot. The channel has more coming up in Sagars' Prithiviraj Chauhan and Tigmanshu Dhulia's yet-to-be-named sitcom.

On the other hand, Sony has already voiced its plans for a fight back. The story here is about the expectations pinned on the Indian Idol 2 final phase, new launches, re-schedules and some revamping as well as axing.

Come 10 March and two new shows - Fear Factor and Kandy Floss will launch in the 9 pm and 11 pm slot respectively. Deal Ya No Deal, which airs from Wednesday to Friday and was recently shifted from the 8:30 pm slot to the 9 pm slot, has been repositioned in the 8 pm slot. But the time change stands true only for Fridays. On Wednesday and Thursday, the show will continue in the 9 pm slot. Apart from that, CID has been revamped and will now become an hourly show at 10 pm on Fridays. The soap Jassi Jaisi Koyi Nahin will bid adieu in the last week of March, while Crime Patrol and Kudkudiya House No. 43 have already been taken off.

Speaking to last week, Sony Entertainment Television (Set) India chief operating officer N P Singh summed up the channel's first priority -- in the present circumstances -- in one sentence, "Our aim is to consolidate our second position."

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