MUMBAI: With the launch of its new offering Peshwa Bajirao, Sony Entertainment Television has entered the 7.30 pm time slot. The channel has expanded its prime time to 7.30pm, and plans to expand it further to 6pm time band in coming 12-18 months.
Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Sony Pictures Network India CEO NP Singh said, “With this show, we begin our prime time to 7.30pm, and soon we will have a show at 7pm time-band. Our objective is to start prime time at 6pm in 12 to 18 months' time.”
Singh further added, “Sony TV’s weekend shows are running successfully. We are focusing on the growth and reach of viewership of our weekday property and that will happen by launching the new slots on the channel and the launch of new shows on those channels.”
Sony Entertainment Television EVP and business head Danish Khan said, “The intention is to expand the prime time from 6pm to 11.30pm but one thing at a time. 7.30 pm time slot we are opening now, and, hopefully by April, we will open the 7pm time band. The programming philosophy for Sony is novelty, variety and quality. We are working on banking a writing script in advance also we are shooting in advance. Like we are launching Peshwa Bajirao on Monday with 20 episodes in bank that is to drive the quality. Also we are hoping that we will bring some novel concept.”
Firstly, it was Star Plus which opened the early prime time slot and later followed by other Hindi GECs entered the space but most of the channels failed to get the positive ratings in those early prime time specially 6pm and 6.30pm. But 7pm and 7.30pm time band became the prime time for all the channels and the space become more competitive with time.
“There are seven Hindi GEC channels, and India is a huge country with a different set of audience fragmentation. It's important to have a variety in GECs. In small towns, the prime time starts early, whereas in urban India people watch television slightly late. The overall HSM numbers might not look very big but, in the sub groups of geography, some shows are blockbusters. I think there is huge appetite for early prime time,” informed Khan.
Well, how successfully Sony is able to encash the expanded prime time, only time will tell.