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&TV bullish on prime time offering, gears up with new shows

As reported earlier, the channel will premiere ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Agent Raghav’ on September 5. Snapdeal, PayUMoney, Syska LED, Quick Heal and Quikr Cars have come on board as sponsors

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | August 26, 2015

Agent-Raghav-and-Deal-or-No-Deal

&TV is all set to beef up its prime time line-up with the launch of two new shows. As reported earlier on BestMediaInfo.com, the Hindi GEC will air reality game show ‘Deal or No Deal’ at 8 pm from September 5, 2015 onwards, while crime show ‘Agent Raghav’ premieres the same day at the 9.00 pm time slot.

‘Deal or No Deal’ marks its return to television screens after a gap of nine years. The show had earlier aired on Sony TV. Actor Ronit Roy will be hosting the new season of the reality game show. &TV has roped in Snapdeal, PayUMoney (presented by) and Syska LED Bulbs (powered by) as sponsors for the show. Meanwhile, ‘Agent Raghav’ will be co-powered by Quick Heal and Quikr Cars.

Since its launch, &TV has turned to fresh and international formats, first with ‘India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun’ and then ‘The Voice’. So, tapping into an old format like ‘Deal or No Deal’ does come as a surprise.

Rajesh Iyer Rajesh Iyer

Commenting on this, Rajesh Iyer, Business Head, &TV, said, “My belief is that whether old or new, whether it has worked in a certain platform or not worked on a certain platform, as far as ‘Deal or No Deal’ is concerned, we’re seeing it as a fresh concept,”

Though the core concept of this game show remains the same, &TV has tweaked the format a little bit by opening up the game to not just one contestant, but to a whole family.

Iyer added, “You don’t need to change everything. You need to change one-odd thing to make it a new packaged product. I believe that this is a great show, one for the family and it should be seen as a fresh show.”

This will be Ronit Roy’s first appearance as the host of a reality show. He was the first choice for the show’s host by production house Endemol Shine India. “Ronit was our first choice too,” Iyer said, adding, “We’ve positioned the show as a family entertainment show and Ronit has been part of families and Indian television households for many years.”

When it comes to the crime genre, while crime reality docu-dramas have been drawing eyeballs, crime fiction shows haven’t seen the same level of popularity barring a few shows. Hence, &TV’s decision to introduce a crime fiction show and that too on weekday prime time is being seen as a big gamble by the channel.

Commenting on this, Iyer said, “There is no formula for successful content. I’ve always maintained that good content is always good business. We believe that ‘Agent Raghav’ is a good concept. We have conviction in this production. We have our own plans, we have our own strategies, we firmly believe that ‘Agent Raghav’ will work in this slot.”

The &TV Business Head also mentioned that the channel would be launching a new show in the 10 pm slot on weekends, but refused to divulge further details.

&TV was launched amidst much fanfare with the Shah Rukh Khan hosted ‘India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun’. When asked whether &TV was contemplating on a second season of the show, Iyer merely stated that they were evaluating the possibility of it and added that he would speak on it only once things fell into place. “Shah Rukh is part of the Zee family. We’ve been talking to him not just for ‘India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun’, but a host of other things too,” he informed.

Commenting on the channel’s performance in its six months of existence, Iyer said, “I think we have done well. We started off at 40 GRPs and today we are at 60 GRPs. I think that is around 40 per cent growth. We have a show which is 1+, and we have ‘The Voice’, which has gained a lot of respect among the singing fraternity.”

He further said, “We are never satisfied with numbers and that is obviously why you see new plans coming up – be it expanding the weekends or expanding weekdays as well. So, whilst we’re not satisfied with the numbers and we obviously have a lot of distance to go, I would term it as a good start. As far as ad revenues are concerned, it is too early to talk about them. The channel is pretty much running a 100 per cent inventory. You can see from the sponsors (Snapdeal) that are coming on board.”

At the time of its launch, &TV had talked about having movie premieres and live events on the network, but so far not much action has been seen in this sphere.

“We have plans and you will soon see a premiere happening. We had consciously not been premiering anything yet, but you will see those things happening now. As for live events, you will see a couple of events by the end of this year. We have a calendar, we have a schedule. We’re working on a fiscal of 12 months. We had to build the foundation in the first five months and now you will see other pieces falling into place,” the &TV Business Head concluded.

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