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Colors to look at new formats in 2015

MUMBAI:  Colors is looking at new formats to drive its content line-up in 2015. In fiction it is soon to launch its magnum opus ‘Chakravartin Ashok Samrat’ and will unveil a mature love story ‘Swaragini’ in a few months. The channel is also planning to introduce a new non-fiction format.

Colors is also launching the sixth season of its action reality show ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ on 7 February. The channel’s CEO Raj Nayak believes that this season of the show has the best casting because all the contestants are very popular. Besides, there has been a lot of variation in the stunt.

One of Colors’ most expensive fiction show ‘24’ is also set to return with its second season this year. This is in addition to the channel’s set calendar of non-fiction formats ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ and ‘India’s Got Talent’.

Raj_Nayak_COLORS (9)“We broke away from conventional with ‘Aamna-Saamna’, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, and now ‘Code Red’. We will continue to do that and we are currently also developing another show. In fiction too, we will soon bring a new show ‘Swaragini’,” said Nayak.

“All three of our format shows—’Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’, ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘India’s Got Talent’—have been successes and we have been repeating it three years in a row. If a show doesn’t work well for us, we pull it off air,” he added.

Nayak mentioned that while the genre has seen overall growth in terms of viewership, fragmentation will keep driving ratings down not in terms of absolute viewership but GRPs (gross rating points).

“We used to get a TRP of 20 for a show, now even if you get 5 you think it has done really well. Now &TV is coming. Some other channel may come later, so fragmentation is a reality,” he stated.

Talking about Colors’ growth, he said that the channel has grown substantially year on year and is doing very well. It did fluctuate in ratings a bit in between, but overall it continued to sustain and remain a strong No. 2.

He stated, “With all the new experiments, the intent is to work harder. One of the disadvantages we have is that we are one Hindi channel. Others like Star, Sony or Zee have sports or other channels to flank and fight; we have only one and still we are giving them a run for their money and I think we are doing a good job.

For ‘Chakravartin Ashok’ too, Colors has invested big monies and the show is stated to be one of its most expensive fiction shows. As a first, it will occupy a one-hour slot at 9 pm, giving the story time to build. The current plan is to run the show till September/October.

“If you see any channel or any cycle that happens in television, there is an eight-year cycle when the trends come back. It’s not a research, but it happens. The beauty of mythological and historical shows is that you can do it in so many ways and yet there will be a different way of doing it,” he stated.

Nayak mentioned, “When we do a show on Colors, we like to experiment and are willing to take the risk and face the challenges, moulding according to what we think is right at that particular moment.”

This is also dependant on the viewing habits of the audience, where the channel has noticed a certain pattern. ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ is performing well at its time slot of 7:30 pm, but if a show like ‘Balika Vadhu’ or ‘Udaan’ is placed at the 7:30 pm slot, it may not work, Nayak said.

Nayak said that comedy, crime and paranormal are the three genres that work well if the storytelling is right and crisp.

There are always challenges in the business in terms of advertising. Nayak explains that while revenues and advertisers follow ratings for fiction shows, in non-fiction shows it is the other way around. With the cost dynamics being different, the channel has to get sponsors on board for a non-fiction show first because it has high impact.