Television

'Star Pravah is only entertainment channel with 25% of content aimed at males': Star Pravah channel head Nachiket Pantvaidya

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/11/14/nachiket.jpg?itok=W7Ln-Cip

Star Pravah had a bad start and had to rework on its programming strategy to keep in pace with rivals Zee Marathi and ETV Marathi. Now having found the right content mix and being aggressive in buying movie rights, the channel leads the ratings chart.

Launching with culturally rich shows like Raja Shivchhatrapati and Agnihotra, the channel changed track and is now focusing on contemporary content reflecting today’s lifestyle. It is betting big on movies and is willing to pay high prices.

In an interview with Indiantelevision.com's Gaurav Laghate, Star Pravah channel head Nachiket Pantvaidya talks about the channel's programming plans and the challenges of the Marathi market.

Excerpts:

Q. After joining on 1 April last year, Star Pravah has grown in the Marathi general entertainment genre. What has worked in your favour?



From 120 GRPs during the last IPL, we have grown to 250 GRPs today. While the ratings are just a number, we have come a long way because we got the right strategy in place.

Q. Star Pravah started with a show like Raja Shivchhatrpati and other shows portraying rich Marathi culture. Today, the shows are more on the contemporary day-to-day life. Are you talking of this shift in strategy?



We believe that whatever the content is, it needs to reflect the society of today. So while we respect the 'Maharashtrian' culture, we are focussed on catering to today's generation.

With the help of our researches and various contact programmes, we have realised that our viewers, staying in whatever part of Maharashtra, are global citizens with big dreams and aspirations. They understand the importance of values versus the changes that are happening in the current economic scenario. With our programming, we are constantly portraying "today's Maharashtra".

Q. Marathi viewer is equally comfortable with Hindi. And if Hindi GECs are offering same shows, doesn't it pose a challenge?



One of the major challenges is that a Marathi viewer is equally comfortable in watching Hindi general entertainment channels, news and sports. So we decided to work not just like a Marathi entertainment channel but an entertainment vehicle. We focus on being concurrent as well as on entertaining our viewers.

And it is paying also. In the last eight weeks we have been ahead of the Hindi GECs. In the week ended 26 May, we clocked 256 GRPs, highest for the channel so far.

Q. From programming point of view, what is the thought process behind the shows?



All our shows are based on unique themes and we promote the idea of positive bright relationships.

Our shows like Bhandaa Saukhya Bhare (game show between saas-bahu), Devyani, Pudhcha Paaul, Swapnanchya Palikadle, and upcoming Laxmi Vs Saraswati portray today's time, today's value system and ask relevant questions.

We have kept the packaging the same… the dresses, attires, setups are still the same, but our approach is very modern.

Also, we are the only entertainment channel with 25 per cent of the FPC dedicated to the male audience. We decided to have differentiated content, so from 9.30 pm till 10.30 pm we show Lakshya (crime drama) and Anolkhi Disha (supernatural) to cater to the male audience. In future we would also like to create some shows for the kids audience as we are a wholesome entertainment channel.

'The ratings of TV premiere of Marathi movies have doubled. We are progressive and aggressive in the film acquisition space and want better production value, for which a better price is justified '

Q. What are the other genres you are exploring?



We would like to explore genres like comedy, thriller and socially relevant shows. We are sticking to our identity and will make sure that we offer the complete package.

Q. Many times a viewer is not happy with the quality of production. How are you tackling this issue?



A few of our shows are already being shot in high definition. And Shrabani Deodhar (creative director), at the helm of programming, makes sure our programming quality is no less than the Hindi GECs - at the price of Marathi GECs!

Q. You have been acquiring a lot of movies. How has it helped the channel?



We are bullish on acquiring movies as we want to see the Marathi film industry grow. So if you see, we have acquired a major chunk of movies, including all the three national award winning movies.

We are looking at buying the rights of these films prior to the release. And these films have helped us to aggregate the incremental viewers. With every blockbuster, new viewers come to sample the channel and we promote our other properties.

We have a good mix of high concept cinema as well as commercial films in our library. For high concept films we are investing in subtitling. We also put advertisements in English dailies so that a non-Marathi speaking viewer can also watch and enjoy good cinema.

Q But many players say that you are also spoiling the market with such high acquisition prices?



We want to write the resurgence story for the Marathi film industry. If you see, Maharashtra still has the lowest film acquisition price. If we keep doing hard bargain to acquire good films, it will drag us all down.

In today's time, the ratings of TV premiere of these movies have doubled and we can recover the cost of acquisition. And after all, the price is just any number; we want to be assured of good cinema. We are progressive and aggressive in the film space and want better production value, for which a better price is justified.

Today, all the big filmmakers in Maharashtra are willing to partner with us as we are expanding their market and trying to make the economic model work for them as well.

Q. How are you marketing the channel and the properties?



We know that as a late entrant in the market, we did not have the legacy to fall back on. Thus, we had to make that extra effort to reach out to our viewer. We have very extensive direct connect programmes and activities through which we keep reaching out to them.

We want to make the viewers realise that we love them, we know their aspirations and we try to meet and talk to them directly. So you will not see many hoardings from our side just announcing a new show; we will reach to the nook and corner of the state and will meet them in person. Our ground connect programme is very strong.

Q. And how is the response from the advertisers?



Today we are a big vehicle for the advertisers to put their message across. A big leap of thought for us is that economic and SEC classification is not a geographic concept anymore. The concept of rural and urban is not there. We see rural parts in metropolitans like Mumbai and Pune as well as an urban class in very small towns. We are working closely with the local brands to help give them a global identity.

Q. How is digitisation going to help you?



I believe that digitisation will benefit us more than anybody as the inequalities in the distribution business will iron out.

Q. How is being part of Star India helping you?



Today Star India has many No. 1 channels in the national as well as regional space. The group has done great in regional with faith that regional could be the new national. The group strength also helps us in leveraging resources.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/21/BARC.jpg?itok=8OHXWahJ
BARC exhorts TRAI to strengthen existing TV audience measurement system

Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), the country’s premier TV audience data measurer, has suggested to the Indian regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that having more multiple measurement and ratings mechanisms may not be “advisable” and could create confusion....

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/21/aaj.jpg?itok=k81Gn7OT
Most watched Hindi news channels in 2018

News is event driven – that is a fact that is known and repeated a dozen times and more by all publications, newsletters, and whatnots.  As per a Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) report presented at FICCI-Frames 2018, Hindi content still rules the Indian television landscape in...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/20/big.jpg?itok=k7-mTi1Q
Big Synergy appoints Simmi Karna to produce fiction series for OTT, TV

Anil D Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment's Big Synergy, a content creation and production company, is powering its fiction content team and has appointed Simmi Karna to produce fiction series for OTT and broadcasters.

Television Production House Fiction
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/20/kc.jpg?itok=6xwLc11l
An afternoon of Food, Family and Fun - COLORS’ presents ‘Kitchen Champion’

A culinary experience like no other, COLORS is here to take viewers on a flavourful journey through its newest offering in the afternoon slot, ‘Kitchen Champion.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/20/krishna.jpg?itok=puHo88-e
&TV’s Paramavatar Shri Krishna stands tall at Kumbh Mela 2019

Celebrating the spirit of the Hindu legends and the holy river of the Ganges, the ongoing Ardh Kumbh at Prayagraj is seeing over millions of pilgrims currently.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/20/ipl.jpg?itok=67yPOP-U
GEC, regional channels' viewership to dip further this year due to IPL, Elections

This summer, India is set to witness two major events, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the much awaited General Elections, clash for votes and viewership. For the broadcast industry, those with general entertainment channels (GECs) are likely to see even further dip in eyeballs because of this.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/19/dsport.jpg?itok=cVe7auOu
DSPORT to telecast Afghanistan vs Ireland ICC cricket series in India

DSPORT, a premium sports channel of Discovery Communications, will broadcast LIVE the upcoming Afghanistan - Ireland ICC cricket series.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/19/news18.jpg?itok=7EVGa18m
News18 Network announces 2nd edition of rising india summit

With the theme ‘Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities’, News18, India’s largest news network, is coming up with the second edition of its marquee thought-leadership initiative-News18 Rising India Summit 2019.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/19/mtv.jpg?itok=yqyPURDA
MTV captivates Roadies’ fans with a thrilling stunt on a billboard

India’s No.1 Youth Brand, MTV continues to be the frontrunner in the category and has upped the ante with India’s first ever stunt on a billboard which was created on Saturday, 9th February.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories