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Hindi GECs don't see many blockbuster shows today: Sony's Danish Khan

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MUMBAI: The folks at Sony Entertainment Television are popping bottles of champagne! The channel has garnered the first position in the Hindi GEC urban market in week 40 of BARC data.

Sony Entertainment Television EVP and business head Danish Khan expresses, “We are happy. We have been working towards this and KBC has been accepted very well and so have "Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai" and Ganesha. We’ve lined up four-five new shows, and the calendar is filled to the brim.”

Two years ago, Khan rejoined Sony as the business head. Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Khan shared the changes and developments he has seen in the network. He says, “The focus has primarily been to work with the right kind of people in both, the internal team and production team outside.”

He further says, “There are three pillars of our programming mantra -- the first one is novelty. Our shows must have a new element. The second aspect is to have variety. Every half an hour should capture various genres like love story, family drama and mythology, etc. Lastly, we are extremely careful about the quality of the shows. Around one to two years are given to make the best.” To encourage writers to come up with extraordinary scripts, the channel invests in this area first.

Displaying excitement and confidence in the new shows and the team working on it, he explains the backdrop of a show. “Shooting outdoors requires planning more than finance. Show budgets have increased over the years owing to better technology -- giving scale to the shows, skilled technicians and artwork,” he adds.

Khan admits that the Hindi GEC space is very competitive. “The success percentage in Hindi GECs has gone down and there is heterogeneity in the market. Blockbuster shows that appeal to all audiences will be scarce. Ten per cent of shows are for mass viewership while the remaining 90 per cent will have its own sectored viewership.” He gives the example of "Un Dino Ki Baat," which is a show based on the 90s and appeals to the set of audience, which grew up in that decade. Though, it is micro-targetting, the quality and variety will make a difference.

The network has launched a number of new shows in last month that include Mere Sai, Vighanharta Ganesh, Super Dancer, KBC, Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai and Kuch Rang Pyar ke Aise bhi season 2.

The 730pm time slot was reopened, after a long hiatus, to Sai Baba. Ganesh was given the slot after that. Byhadh is aired at 830 pm, and is slated to be replaced by Porus in November. A new show "Likhenge Rishta Hum Naya" will make its way to the prime time followed by Haasil. In the pipeline are -- Dus Ka Dum and Prithvi Vallabh.

Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia chairman and CEO Ashish Bhasin vouches for Sony’s seasoned attitude in the GEC space. “Customers don’t watch channels, they watch content. If a channel can create content that resonates with the audience, it will attract eyeballs. Viewers switch between channels, which is why there are ups and downs.”

Success rates don’t resemble what they were earlier is because of the choices available to people. But, Bhasin sees this only as a boon.

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