MUMBAI: Efforts are being made to revive the almost comatose Hindi GEC Sahara One once again. Around a fortnight ago, indiantelevision.com had reported that a whole bunch of executives had been asked to put in their papers and march from the premises, almost immediately. Entertainment Hub, a unit of the Snip Entertainment Group along with the BSE listed Trilogic Digital Media, was slated to take management and sales control of the ailing channel, along with Sahara Filmy.
Well, what we had written has come to pass. Entertainment Hub is indeed in the driver's seat at both - Sahara One and Filmy - the channels. Following on the heels of its massive employee shedding programme, it is now focused on rewriting Sahara One's FPC. Come the first week of April and the viewers of the GEC will get to watch a whole new slate of programmes. Most of the existing shows - the better known ones include Niyati, Jai Bajrangbali and Firangi Bahu - are being shelved. Producers have been told to wrap the storylines by then.
Driving the change is Trilogic Digital Media director Vishal Gurnani - who refused to speak to indiantelevision.com on the revamp initiative. But sources within the company say that new hires especially with creative expertise are being headhunted. Says a Sahara One source: “There is a management change in terms of the approach to the channel. A completely new dynamic team is going to drive the channel. Plus, our aim with the re-vamp is to widen our distribution. You will see much better distribution across the HSM markets in India."
The management has its task cut out to achieve that; the network has large outstandings with almost every major MSO and many other smaller ones nationally.
However, the Sahara One source says that the idea is to get the GEC back to the 50 GRP landmark within the next 12 months, and then to 100 GRPs in 18 months. "We are confident that with this re-launch, we will achieve these numbers,” he exults.
The challenge is indeed tough; but confidence is running high. If it can convert that confidence into fruitful actions, success well might follow.