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Sony Pal set for a revamp in 2015

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MUMBAI: It was a dream come true for Multi Screen Media (MSM) CEO NP Singh when he announced the launch of the network’s much hyped Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC), Sony Pal. With the tagline - ‘Yeh Pal Hamara Hai’, it targeted the housewives in the age group of 15-34 years in SEC BCDE. However, it seems that his dream of seeing the channel compete with the top general entertainment channels, is far from being achieved.

Reason: failure of few of its shows to connect with the hearts of its target audience. As a result, the newly launched channel decided to cut down a few original hours of content. The status now is that Sony Pal which launched on 1 September 2014 with nine shows, currently is airing only four.

The nine offerings were Simply Baatein produced by GR8 Entertainment and anchored by Raveena Tandon, Dil Hain Chotasa Choti Si Asha, produced by SOL Productions and hosted by Ragini Khanna and Jay Soni, Shashi Productions’ Ek Rishta Aisa Bhi, Miloni Films’ Khushiyon Ki Gullakh Aashi¸ Singhasan Battisi by Creative Eye, Pia Basanti Re by Rashmi Sharma and Pawan Kumar, Tum Sath Ho Jab Apne produced by Sphere Origins, Sister Didi by DJ’s Creative Unit and Yeh Dil Sun Raha Hain by Balaji Telefilms.

Amongst these programmes, the five that have shut their shops include Simply Baatein with Raveena which ended at week 49 of TAM TV ratings with 109 TVTs, Khushiyon Ki Gullakh Aashi in week 50 at 206 TVTs, Pia Basanti Re and Tum Sath Ho Jab Apne in week 50 at 247 TVTs and 314 TVTs respectively and Dil Hain Chotasa Choti Si Asha in week 51 at 189 TVTs.

Amongst the five, two reality shows like Simply Baatein with Raveena and Dil Hain Chhotasa Chhoti Si Asha came to a natural end as they were commissioned for 13 episodes.

One of the producers informs that a month back the channel had sent out notices to the above mentioned production houses to stop shooting and shut down their respective shows. For the other production houses, the channel has not sent out any notices yet.

From 3.5 hours of original content, Pal has slashed 1.5 hours of content and is now showcasing only 2.0 hours of original content starting from primetime 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

When contacted Sony Pal and Sab SVP and business head Anooj Kapoor says, “When we went out checking with our core TG (women GEC viewers) to what they found right and not right with the channel in terms of content, the consumers came up with very interesting answers which threw some pointers on what core corrections were required.”

“We are soon going to come back in the same slots which have been shut down with new programmes in terms of dailies and with consumer feedback on-board. Hopefully, this time around we will go to the next level. We are going to come back with exact consumer expectations as they have articulated after viewing the channel.”

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