Sony Sab to increase focus on fiction genre

Four new shows are up for launch in the coming few weeks.

MUMBAI: Sony Sab, which has till now relied on Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma to carry the torch of its vision as a general happiness channel, is all set to launch four new fiction shows. The new weekday and weekend fillers will explore new themes like dramedy, horror comedy and fantasy.

The programming line-up includes two finite series that will go live on 26 January as a part of the weekend programming - Band Baaja Bandh Darwaza and My Name Ijj Lakhan. Bhakharwadi and BaavleUtaavle are two upcoming weekday shows.

Sony Sab, Pal business head Neeraj Vyas clarified that Sony Sab isn’t just a comedy channel. “The shows that are coming up are way beyond comedy. Comedy essentially is sitcom. What we are doing now with our stories, plots and content, is creating characters which have a much longer linear part. Tenali and Aladdin are not just comedy,” he says.

The channel also highlights that its content is unique and not a copy of someone else. He adds, “We may not be main course, we may not have multiple offerings but we are the only dessert in the market.”

Giving his opinion on the recent TRAI tariff verdict, Vyas says, “My take on tariff is, bring it on. Simply because we are extremely confident that the content is made for N number of people and which is why we see a lot of clones. Today the consumer is going to change. They will get to choose their own channels, which means your product, your offering had better be differentiated and when it comes to that, we are completely unique.”

Talking about the growth the channel has witnessed, it claims to be the only gainer in MP among paid GECs. The impressions increased by 9 per cent from 18.1 million to 19.8 million over last year. In North Zone, impressions increased by 12 per cent from 60.2 million to 67.6 million. There has been a major gain in Delhi; impressions increased by 24 per cent from 18.9 million to 23.4 million.

According to the broadcaster, Sony Sab is the highest gainer among H-GECs in the west and observed an increase by 16 per cent from 127.9 million to 148.6 million. In Maharashtra, its impression grew by 23 per cent from 61.5 million to 75.9 million over last year and in Mumbai, it grew by 19 per cent from 29.7 million to 35.3 million.

The year 2018 was momentous for Sony Sab as the channel registered strong growth numbers in a market that wasn’t growing.  According to Sab, among NCCS AB 15+, the channel was the highest audience coverage gainer and it increased from 36 million to 38 million over last year. NCCS AB Male 15+ increased from 18.8 million to 19.7 million and NCCS AB female 15+ increased from 17.4 million to 18.3 million.  Over the course of last one year, it saw a 10 per cent increase in time spent from 110 minutes to 121 minutes.  

From an advertising standpoint, the broadcaster also says it grew in various categories such as FMCG, telcos, automobiles and among other multiplied for them. Brand count went up from 203 to 230.

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