Star Plus to close afternoon band on 30 September

MUMBAI: Leading Hindi GEC Star Plus, which created the afternoon band ‘Star Dopahar’ less than six months back, has decided to wrap it up on 30 September.

Star Plus has informed producers about the closure and has asked to wrap up their respective story lines. The afternoon bandwidth currently airs four shows—‘Kya Kasoor Hai Amla Ka?’, ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee,’ ‘Dhhai Kilo Prem’ and ‘Love Hai Intezaar’.

Producer Sandiip Sikchand, who has been working on the afternoon show ‘Dhhai Kilo Prem’, confirmed the news to TelevisionPost.com. “We have been informed by the channel to complete the show by 30 September as the channel has decided to close the afternoon slot. We are trying to do justice to the story line by giving it a proper end,” Sikchand stated.

After 30 September, ‘Kya Kasoor Hai Amla Ka?’ (24 Frames), ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee’ (Shoonya Square Productions), ‘Dhhai Kilo Prem’ (Sandiip Sikchand and Balaji Telefilms) and ‘Love Hai Intezaar’ (Alchemy Productions) will go off air.

Alchemy Productions’ Siddharth Malhotra told TelevisionPost.com, “The entire afternoon band is going off air and it was the channel’s call. I think we all have good relations with Star, so it is not the end. It is sad that the show is ending, but we will be working on another project for Star.”

As an experiment, Star Plus had revived the afternoon band after a gap of about eight years. The original plan was to create new advertising inventory with the afternoon band at rates that could draw in a new group of advertisers. Besides, Star Plus was the only Hindi GEC that ran original content in that time band to tap women viewers.

Star Plus launched the afternoon band on 3 April 2017 with four shows, namely ‘Kya Kasoor Hai Amla Ka?’, ‘Tu Sooraj Mein Saanjh, Piyaji,’ ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee’ and ‘Dhhai Kilo Prem’. They were aired between 12 noon and 2 pm.

Star Dopahar started on a positive note as it helped Star Plus to increase its weekly impressions by 1.43% to 69.12 crore, according to BARC data for Week 14.

Following the steady audience response even during the Indian Premiere League 2017 season, the channel expanded the afternoon band by half an hour with the launch of ‘Love Hai Intezaar’ at 2.30 pm on 15 May. After that, the channel started witnessing a drop in its viewership and soon lost its top spot in the urban + rural HSM to other channels like Zee TV and Zee Anmol.

In July 2017, the channel shifted ‘Tu Sooraj Mein Saanjh’ from 1 pm to the 7-pm evening slot. Produced by Shashi-Sumeet Productions, the show ‘Tu Sooraj Mein Saanjh, Piyaji’, a sequel to its long-time popular series ‘Diya Aur Bati’, was the tent-pole show for the channel in the afternoon slot. In the evening slot, ‘Tu Sooraj Mein Saanjh, Piyaji’ replaced the channel’s long-running show ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya.’

As per BARC data for the week ended 1 September, Star Plus is at No. 4 in the urban + rural HSM with 57.40 crore weekly impressions, seeing a drop of 4.09%.