Revolution in Television

 Revolution in Television- 

On 21st November 2011, Sony Entertainment Television launched a set of new fiction shows; to replace "Kaun Banega Crorepati", or KBC, as it is more popularly known as. It is seemingly an unimportant development, with more than 50 Hindi GECs (General Entertainment Channels), launching a new show, every week or month. The interesting fact about these shows on SONY is, their time duration.

Kuch Toh Log Kahenge and Dekha Ek Khwaab, two shows on SONY, run for 45 minutes each, covering the prime time slot from 8pm to 9.30 pm. By increasing the time duration of these shows, from the regular 30-minute slot, the channel has brought a new trend on Indian television.

As television viewers, we are used to watching 30-minute or 1-hour shows on television. While most of the fiction shows across all GECs have 30 minute episodes, very few shows are aired for 60 minute slots. In earlier days, Mahabharat and Ramayan, while today Chandragupta Maurya on NDTV Imagine channel, have 60 minute episodes. Apart from that, only reality shows have 60-minute episodes on Indian television.

The important point to be understood here is, how these 45 minute shows can impact the viewer's choice of show, and in turn the TRPs of shows across different channels. If an individual starts watching and following, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, the 8pm show on SONY; then the viewership of 8.30 pm show on other GECs gets affected. Also, as the other 45 minute show, Dekha Ek Khwaab, starts at 8.45 pm, it is already running, when a 9pm show starts on other GECs. The ad-breaks are assigned such that, the show is going on at 9pm, which invariably leads to viewer not switching channel; to watch a show starting on another GEC, at 9pm.

Thus, by running two shows of 45 minutes, TRP's of almost 3 shows in the same time slot, broadcast on other GECs, stand to get affected.

Also, the production to broadcast costs, get reduced. With two 45-minute shows occupying 90 minutes of screen time, the overall production cost is less; as compared to the production costs for three 30-minute shows covering 90 minutes.

It may seem that, two 45-minute shows being broadcast at primetime on a GEC is not a big deal. Instead, if we take a closer look; then it can be understood, that how a 45-minute slot can impact the TRPs of shows run on other GECs. Also, the reduced production to programming ratio helps the channel in achieving significant profits.

So, is this 45-minute programming on television, a one-off incident or a long-lasting strategy? Only time will tell. For now, it is definitely a smart, innovative move in television industry.

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