Television

Star One plans revival in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: After striking a truce with Mumbai's cable operators and gaining prime band occupancy on their networks, Star One is making all efforts to regain lost ground.

In order to refresh the memories of the Mumbai viewer, Star One has slotted a series of marathons and re-cap episodes of its key properties including The Great Indian Laughter Challenge Dwitiya (TGILCD), India Calling, D.O.N, Yeh Dil Chahe More and Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka.

"Due to a disagreement with the cable trade in Mumbai, we were absent from the prime band. It crippled the channel's growth in a big way. Now we have reached a settlement and are back on the prime band. Mumbai has always been an important market for the channel, delivering almost 30 per cent of the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) ratings. Now we look forward to regaining our position," states Star India EVP marketing Ajay Vidyasagar.

Speaking on the impact that Mumbai's absence from the picture made on the newly launched shows such as Kya Hoga... and Heart Beat, Vidyasagar says, "Those brands didn't get an opportunity to connect with the Mumbai viewers." On the revival of the channel, he counts on TGILCD to play a key role. "This property will be the lead vehicle for us to drive audiences in Mumbai back to the channel."

On the marketing and promotion front, the channel will be triggering a multimedia campaign covering print, radio, outdoors and internet. "We will begin with a print campaign tomorrow (1 June) leading up to the finals of TGILCD. This will be followed by a series of radio activities. Celebrities such as Hrithik Roshan and Diya Mirza will also come on board for promotions. We are planning extensive ground events to promote TGILCD," says Vidyasagar.

On the latest introduction Heart Beat not figuring in the recap exercise, Vidyasagar explains, "It is a bit tough to get into a wild bunch of repeats. We don't want to offer an over dose of the strategy."

When queried on the fate of those upcoming shows including Sixer, which were put on hold post the cable disturbance, Vidyasagar said they were put on hold due to creative reasons. "There weren't too many shows, which we put on hold. Yes, due to certain creative reasons, we have delayed certain shows. It will require certain time to recraft those shows," he says.

As already reported by Indiantelevision.com, Star One was pushed into the hyper band since January as Star India was asking for an increase in payout from cable TV operators. Star was blamed by the association of distributors and last mile operators in Mumbai for forcing the second bouquet comprising channels like Star One and Walt Disney on cable operators.

Opposition was also against Tata Sky, in which Star is a 20 per cent joint venture partner, for approaching housing societies with the proposal of offering residents a central dish antenna through which it could connect individual installations and offer direct-to-home (DTH) service.

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