In a move to take the new entrant Colors Tamil head-on, which is set to break into the viewership pie of existing Tamil GECs, Star India’s Tamil GEC Vijay TV is all set to launch a one-hour afternoon slot, ‘Vijay Matinee’, with original programming with an aim to build it up to a two-hour slot, if all goes well. With this, the channel also aims to strengthen its afternoon slot that has been ruled by Sun TV.
Sun TV telecasts original content from 10am to 3pm and then resumes another set of original content from 6.30pm to 11pm. Vijay TV is the second channel to introduce original content in the afternoon.
The channel has not grabbed the easier slot between 3pm and 6.30pm when Sun TV has repeat programming or movie content. Rather, Vijay TV will be launching its original fiction shows titled Avalum Nanum and Ponmagal Vandhal at 1.30pm and 2pm, respectively, starting February 26. This means that the channel will be taking Sun TV head-on for these bands.
It has been a long lost habit of Indians to consume original content on the afternoon slot. Recently, in the Hindi genre, Star Plus had tried to put up a huge show with Star Dopahar, launching four high-decibel fiction shows. To no one’s surprise, the slot was shut within five months of its launch.
Things are little different in the Tamil Nadu market, which has the highest TV consumption in the country with an average of about three hours per day per person. Will the channel be able to pull viewers out of Sun TV? A senior media planner said, “Vijay TV has higher quality of production, compared to Sun TV. On the other hand, 1.30 to 3pm is the primetime for afternoons and the three serials running during this time on Sun TV have been there for over 1,000 episodes. This testifies the popularity and strong viewership of these shows.”
On the content cost side, the channel already airs about nine original shows in the evening, which costs about Rs 45-55 lakh a week. By increasing two more shows, the weekly costs will go up by about Rs 10-15 lakh.If one considers that on an average, each half-an-hour episode costs about Rs 1-1.25 lakh. These are approximate figures, considering the quality of production on the channel. The regional channels generally shoot two to three episodes in a day to amortise costs better.
These added costs will be required to be earned back from advertising on these shows, which will take time, suggest media planners.
The new shows are both fiction dramas. Avalum Nanum is a family drama based on twin girls Nila and Diya. Nila’s wedding has been fixed with Praveen, who hails from an even richer family. On the day of her wedding, she leaves a letter for her father and leaves the house. Her father tries to save face by requesting Diya to take Nila’s place. What happens next in their lives? The fiction has lots of twists and turns. The show will be directed by Dhanush.
Ponmagal Vandhal is a journey of a small-town girl Rohini from her native to a megapolis; her encounter with betrayal, deceit, romance, entrapment and cheating are beautifully intertwined. Rohini is bonded in love with her family. She is ready to give up anything to see them smile. The fiction is directed by Rasool.