Television

Saaibaba musicals & comedy, Balaji dramas may lift DD's fortunes from Feb

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MUMBAI: Starting February, pubcaster Doordarshan is geared up to launch television shows following the prime time programming slot auction in December.

Saaibaba Telefilms and Ekta Kapoor-promoted Balaji Telefilms are putting together programming ranging from family dramas to youth-oriented shows to music reality shows which may lead to revival of the viewership and finances of the network. indiantelevision had reported that Balaji bid successfully for four slots, and Saaibaba bagged two slots on Doordarshan’s prime time slot auctions.

Saaibaba, which is popular for shows such as SaReGaMa, Antakshari, and Star Voice of India, will produce music-focused reality and fiction shows for Doordarshan. Saaibaba won bids for 7.30 pm to 8 pm from Monday to Friday, and 8pm to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday, indiantelevision.com had reported.      

Saaibaba director Shweta Singh on Tuesday told indiantelevision.com, "We had not applied for initial two bids but put the hat in the third ring because it was feasible and fortunately got two slots. In terms of content, we are looking for musical reality shows for weekends and comedy show on weekdays."     

Balaji COO - television business Ketan Gupta reportedly said that one of the shows was going to be a youth-focused show, while another would be a love story. A daily soap opera (family drama) has been planned for the Friday slot, he added.

Balaji has made superhit fiction shows such as Kumkum Bhagya on Zee and Pavitra Bandhan (which runs on DD National). It successfully pocketed three slots (half an hour each for 8-9:30pm programming) from Monday to Thursday. The production house won two slots for 8-9pm programming on Friday.

After a Prasar Bharati Board meeting in October, Doordarshan had announced a series of concessions once the programmers come on board, including lowering the base price for a 30-minute slot to Rs. 1,50,000.      

DD sources had told indiantelevision.com that the only eligibility criterion that has been relaxed is that the basic price for auction has come down to Rs 1,50,000 (Rs 1.5 lakh) for a 30-minute slot. It was Rs 250.000 when the auction was announced in June this year, and was decreased to Rs 200,000 when the new date was set in early September 2016.

However, most of the other eligibility norms remain the same as earlier in the New Content Acquisition Scheme that has been approved by Prasar Bharati Board.

Also Read: Balaji & Saaibaba bag prime time slots on DD National

DD non-prime time slots programmes invited; FCTs specified

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