Post-IPL, channels vie to get back viewers!

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) With the Indian Premier League (IPL) frenzy over, Hindi entertainment channels are seeking to woo back audiences with a variety of new programmes - game shows, stand-up comedies and women-oriented serials.

While the sports-cum-entertainment factor of IPL had viewers hooked to Set Max, the official broadcaster of the series, it beat all Hindi general entertainment channels as far as viewer ratings go.

Now most channels are vying to get their positions back.

Winds of change are certainly blowing on Sony Entertainment Television, which has seven new shows lined up. Besides bringing back Bollywood star Salman Khan to host the second season of game show "10 Ka Dum", the channel will launch another reality show "Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega".

In terms of revamping their fiction content, it will showcase four new shows - "Ladies Special", "Bhaskar Bharti", "Palampur Express", "Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur" - all with different themes.

"We have tried to give the viewers a perfect blend of shows that will resonate with families of today's India. Each programme or show has a distinct identity. The overall programme line-up is going to be uniquely different from what you have seen so far," Gurdip Bhangoo, programming head of Sony channel, was quoted as saying.

Even Colors is geared up with two big ticket reality shows - "India's Got Talent", based on British reality show "Britain's Got Talent", as well as the second edition of kids' comedy show "Chhote Miyan".

During the IPL too, the channel launched a show titled "Sabki Jodi Wohi Banata Bhagyavidhaata", which is based on the unique Bihar practice of 'pakraua vivaah', where grooms are abducted and married off.

Not to be left behind, channels like Zee TV, NDTV Imagine, SAB TV, STAR One and the fairly new Real are also looking at improving their content.

"Entertainment is a continued business and so events like the IPL as well as the elections, which were being considered a blockbuster, keep coming and going. You have to keep refreshing your channel from time to time," Sunil Lulla, CEO of Real, told IANS