2014: A year of change for GECs


2014 was a year of change and evolution for Zee TV. The game is not over yet, I think we are still evolving everyday and so are our audiences and that is the real excitement. This year, we saw a lot of buzz and excitement on the channel, around the new properties and we are carving our own identity year-on-year in the general entertainment space.

The channel created some extraordinary concepts in 2014 and now we are seen as a channel that has clutter-breaking ideas within the traditional format. We have launched shows with very different type of protagonists from Jamai Raja to Bandhan.

We also came up with a weekend block of Zee Super weekends with Maharakshak Aryan and Neeli Chatri Waale and the other non-fiction shows. So, there was an attempt to provide differentiated content to the viewers and yet something that they will be familiar with very easily. This year, we have also observed a very quick traction for all our new shows. Be it for Kumkum Bhagya or Jamai Raja and even Neeli Chatri Waale which has seen strong growth within eight and nine weeks of its launch.  

We are happy that people are attracted to the differentiated content that we are providing. 2014 was also a year of experiments in the non-fiction category, right from finding talent in India's Best Cinestars Ki Khoj to Dil Se Naachein Indiawaale. Moreover, we are now coming back to the traditional Zee show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs as we enter the last leg of the year.

The idea is to be happy with whatever you do because I think from a product and positioning point of view we have changed in the last nine months. We made a conscious shift about how we look and feel. There is certain uniformity in what we are doing and a certain sense of it coming together. The numbers have been good, so satisfied at that level. We are aligned with the legacy of Zee and yet evolving in a direction that we want to take the channel in.

I see the same evolution being mirrored in the rest of the industry as well. Channels are providing content that is in the familiar zone but with very different types of protagonists and very different propositions. You may feel like you are watching a show which is in a genre that looks familiar but the story, characters, subjects, the way stories are presented are all different. There is a sense of innovation which broadcasters are giving and audiences are accepting. I think this is a beginning of a good phase.

Not only Zee, but talking about the whole industry, what we as broadcasters will continue doing is living and breathing what our audiences want and giving them that.

In 2014, we at Zee have started a new journey and it will take us to a very different place from where we were before. I hope the audiences will be with us in the journey.

(These are purely personal views of Zee TV programming head Namit Sharma and indiantelevision.com does not necessarily subscribe to these views.)

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