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Sony Pal trims original programming to two hours

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) third Hindi GEC Sony Pal, which targets women viewers from SEC (socio economic class) BCD&E and LC1 towns, has trimmed its original fiction programming from three and a half hours to two hours.

Finding it difficult to make headroom in its viewers’ homes after four months of launch, the channel took the call of pulling the plug on three of its fiction shows in December. The shows include Rashmi Sharma Productions’ ‘Pia Basanti Re’, Sphere Origins’ ‘Tum Sath Ho Jaab Apne’ and Miloni Films’ ‘Khushiyon Ki Gullakh Aashi’.

The programming overhaul is expected to happen in the early part of 2015.
For the time being, the scaling down effectively means that Sony Pal will follow the same strategy that SAB followed—a low-cost model with two hours of programming.

“I think Sony Pal will try to first get the other aspects like distribution and marketing sorted. Like SAB, once it gets settled, the channel will look at expanding programming hours. However, it will have to find at least one show that clicks with the audiences like SAB’s ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma’,” said a senior broadcast professional, preferring anonymity.

In an earlier interview, SAB and Sony Pal business head Anooj Kapoor had told that he was confident of Pal making gradual progress and getting good numbers over time, much like SAB. “It was at 20 GRPs and we took it to 170 GRPs,” he had said.

Kapoor had added that on Sony Pal, the task was longer and arduous and the challenge mainly involved distribution and sampling.

MSM had launched Sony Pal on 1 September with a strong women-centric positioning and tagline of ‘Yeh Pal Hamara Hai’.

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