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Sony Pal aims to grab more eyeballs with launch on DD FreeDish

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media has placed its third Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Sony Pal on public broadcaster Prasar Bharati’s free-to-air (FTA) digital platform DD FreeDish. This development notwithstanding, it will remain a pay channel on all other platforms, confirmed a senior executive of the company.

Sony Pal’s content strategy has also been realigned after the channel’s shows failed to make an impact. Gauging the trend, MSM has put the shows of its two other GECs—Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and SAB—on Sony Pal.

Anooj Kapoor 01“The strategy is to showcase the best of SET and SAB on the channel. With the DD FreeDish viewership added to it, we are hoping that ratings will show an upward swing,” said MSM senior EVP and Sony Pal and SAB business head Anooj Kapoor.

Sony Pal, which was launched on 1 September last year, saw a rocky start as most of its shows failed to attract desired viewership.

Giving his rationale for the strategy, Kapoor added, “We are expecting at least 30 per cent additional viewership as most of the DD FreeDish viewers have never seen SET and SAB programming. They will be sampling it for the first time and therefore my hope is they will respond positively.”

One of the oldest DTH players, DD FreeDish (earlier DD Direct+) broadcasts 64 channels in MPEG-2 format. It has an estimated subscriber base of 15–20 million.

When asked if there would be new shows on the channel, or if it, like FTA channels of other broadcasting networks, would remain a platform for repeat content, Kapoor hinted that Sony Pal might have original content in future.

“Once we reach a rating threshold, we may kick in original programming,” he said.

As of now, Sony Pal has created a 6–11 pm programming block.

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