Television

Sony Entertainment Television back on track

Yes, the Hindi GEC space is witnessing the rule of the top three. But old-monk Sony Entertainment Television is racing quite hard to get into that inner ring that includes Colors, Zee TV and Star Plus.

Sony has done the catch-up exercise with some of its old-running programmes gaining ground while a few of its overhauled prime-time shows have started delivering.

According to the latest Tam data, Sony has earned 183 gross rating points (GRPs) for the week ended 7 November, up 23 points from the earlier week.

Says Set business head Ajit Thakur, "We know that Sony is a stronger brand than what the numbers are showing and in the months to come we will push hard for faster growth."

Sony had relaunched on 26 May with a new slate of five dailies for the 8-11 pm time zone, donning the tagline, ?Badal Rahe Hain Hum?. The channel also lined up two weekend shows, one of which was the return of the big-ticket reality show Dus Ka Dum in season 2 with Salman Khan as the anchor. The revamp strategy also involved the axing of all its weekday prime time content except its age-old shows Boogie Woogie and CID.

With the new line up, Sony?s ratings shot to 97 points in week 22 from 78 in the previous week.

Says a source in the company, "As we were back to our basics, we had to evaluate what was working for the channel and what was not. According to the research we have done, our old properties like CID, Boogie Woogie, Aahat and Dus Ka Dum had worked for us. Hence, step one was to bring these properties back."

Backing this statement is Tam data, which reveals that C.I.D., Boogie Woogie and Dus Ka Dum were the top contributors to the channel grades. The last five-week average TVR for C.I.D stands at 3.4, while Dus Ka Dum is at 2.1 and Boogie Woogie at 1.5.

Though Sony did witness an upward swing instantly post relaunch, it wasn?t a continuous upward drive. For the following weeks, the channel?s GRPs dipped to 90 and 82 points for week 24 and 25 respectively.

And then the tide turned and Sony crossed the 100-GRP mark to pocket 108 grades in week 27.



As reality became the staple flavour for GECs this season, Sony decided to create the big property, Mujhe Iss Jungle Se Bachao, as part of its relaunch strategy. However, the property failed to perform.



"Among the fiction shows, Rani Padmini and Palampur Express flopped and therefore they were axed immediately. The other two shows, Bhaskar Bharti and Ladies Special, was performing average for the channel and hence, some investments have been done around that," says a senior executive in Sony on request of anonymity.

Still believing in the power of reality, the channel went forward to launch its newest property, the Dance Premier League (DPL).



"We realised that we had to strengthen some of our stuff quarter-by-quarter. Hence, we gave Boogie Woogie a break and got DPL. The property has done fantastic for us, not only in the form of garnering advertising revenues but in ratings growth. Beginning with a TVR of around 1, it has grown to an average 1.5," the executive says.



Meanwhile, to tighten its week-day fiction line up, the channel got on board Balaji Telefilms? Beyttaab Dil Kee Tamana Hain and Pyaar Ka Bandhan to firm up the 10-11 pm band. While the former has delivered an average TVR of 0.64 for the week, Pyaar Ka Bandhan has fetched 0.56 average TVR.



"We are looking at a new fiction line up altogether. This week we launched Sukh By Chance in the 9 pm band and we will be launching two more shows in the next four weeks," the executive elaborates.



For the weekend, Boogie Woogie will come back next year while Sony will currently focus on DPL to increase the scale of the 8 pm slot.



The next few weeks will tell how intense is Sony?s recovery as it steps up the gas to put up more popular shows.

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