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Zindagi to revamp primetime; HD and dual feed on the anvil
MUMBAI: After growing on the back of Pakistani and Turkish content with a small mix of local shows, premium general entertainment channel (GEC) Zindagi is launching a revamped primetime line-up on 3 October.
Besides revamping primetime, an English dual feed will soon be launched to allow bi-lingual audiences to consume content in the language of their choice. Zindagi, which already has a Hindi feed, will thus have two language feeds for its viewers.
Plans are also on to launch a high-definition (HD) version of the channel after obtaining a licence from the government.
The content mix will have three new local shows, a Turkish drama and a joint production with Pakistan’s Geo TV. All the shows will air six days from Monday to Saturday.
The new shows include a light-hearted Turkish drama titled ‘Little Lord’, three Indian originals including Sphere Origins’ ‘TV Ke Uss Par’, ‘Khwaabon Ki Zamin Par’ by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares and ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ by Gulshan Sachdeva’s Film & Shots. The line-up will also have ‘Teri Meri Jodi’, a co-production between Zindagi and Geo TV.
Zindagi’s prime-time action will kick off with ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ at 7 pm replacing Pakistani drama ‘Ek Tamanna Lahaasil Si’. This will be followed by a one-hour Turkish drama titled ‘Little Lord’ at 7.30 pm, replacing ‘Vrindavan ki Radhika’.
Popular Turkish drama ‘Fatmagul’ will move to a new time band. It will air from 9 to 10 pm instead of from 8.30 to 9.30 pm.
‘TV Ke Uss Par’ will air in 8.30 pm time band. ‘Fatmagul’ will be followed by ‘Khwaabon Ki Zamin Par’ at 10 pm. The channel airs ‘Ek Tamanna Lahaasil Si’ in this time slot.
The primetime programming will be completed with ‘Teri Meri Jodi’ at 10.30 pm. Currently, the channel airs repeats of ‘Fatmagul’ in this slot.
Thus, Zindagi’s primetime will run from 7 to 11 pm, featuring six shows. The launch of these shows will mean that the channel’s primetime will be devoid of any Pakistani acquired shows.
The channel will also air movies in weekends on Sunday to add variety to the content mix. The movies will not be the regular movies that air on TV; they will be handpicked to adhere to the taste of Zindagi audience.
ZEEL chief business officer Sunil Buch said that the launch of new shows marked the evolution of the channel, which was built on the back of Pakistani content.
“We have built Zindagi on the back of Pakistani content, but we realised that that alone is not going to be enough. Now we have expanded the palette. The idea is to get more people in the fold that a single palette cannot deliver,” Buch said.
Right now, the channel is looking at building its primetime, but as the palette evolves it will look at other time bands like afternoon band.
Some of the Pakistani shows will continue while some depending on the demand will run in some other time band.
On the dual language feed and HD channel plan, Buch said, “For our bilingual premium audiences, Zindagi will also soon be available on a dual feed of Hindi and English. We also plan to launch HD version of Zindagi once we get the licence.”
Apart from Indian, Pakistani and Turkish dramas, the channel will bring hand-picked stories from Spain, Italy, Latin America and Korea. It plans to add these shows by the end of this year or early next year.
“We are opening up people’s taste buds. We brought Turkish content to India. We also plan to bring more international content. We are in experimentation stage,” he stated.
Currently, the channel’s content comprises 70% international content and 30% local. The plan is to gravitate to a ratio of 50:50 in the future. In terms of programming hours, it has 2.5 hours of foreign content and 1.5 hours of local Indian content.
According to Buch, good content should have great storytelling besides being driven by characters. Additionally, the content should be finite and fast paced.
Talking about the TG of the channel, Buch said that Zindagi audience comes mainly from metro cities and includes both males and females with a skew towards the latter. It is consumed by youth and older audiences alike.
He also declared Zindagi as India’s No. 1 premium channel. However, like other niche channels, Zindagi is sold on perception rather than pure ratings. To buttress his point, Buach said that Zindagi’s core TG is the one that goes to five star hotels, own credit cards and have modular kitchen in their homes.
The channel will launch a marketing campaign to promote the new line-up. The campaign theme is #ZindagiKehtiHai. There will be a roadblock across the Zee network of 33 channels, on 30 September. The campaign will run across print, TV, DTH, digital, cinema, mobile and OOH.