True Review

Content Makeover

Content Makeover

by Piroj Wadia January 22 2016, 2:01 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 59 secs

Television channels are known to have shrugged their shoulders at non-Hindi preferred viewers. The argument being: these eyeballs aren?t money spinners. It is indeed ironical that Star Plus was India?s first GEC channel and it aired only English language content from the US and Australia. With Star Plus? change of language identity to Hindi, Star World was launched as the English counterpart. The content was old seasons of shows like Picket Fences, etc. which had long ended their home runs. The Indian viewer wasn?t too fussy and not very well informed; the net wasn?t even conceived in his mind. Furthermore, there was still a dependency on home viewing thanks to the local video library which was well stocked with tapes of serials chiefly from the US, England, Australia and even Pakistan! English preferred viewers were a bunch of happy campers when Star Plus telecast shows like Baywatch urban households bustled with activity on the weekend. David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson were the new pinup people; competing for popularity with the daily soap The Bold and the Beautiful. If B&B was for a slightly older viewership, Zee TV had Friends burst out of the small screen every week night. Now, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer were the new delights for the Indian viewers, grabbing eyeballs across ages. But as networks concentrated on building up a desi viewership in Hindi and across regional languages, the English language channels were largely neglected. Star World concentrated on cooking reality shows, AXN on dance reality shows, etc. Viewers who preferred English shows hadn?t much choice, as channels simply aired content without any marketing and if at all a show caught on it was because of word of mouth publicity. Channels were given to switch timeslots and cut down repeats, hence leaving the viewer stranded. Can anyone tell me what happened to Quantico? This writer had to abandon Homeland Season 1 because of the schedule change, and rely on the local DVD supplier, as do so many. Often shows which have done their round on the DVD circuit have been aired on Zee Caf?, AXN and Star World. The English GEC channels can?t complain about low viewership. Earlier Hollywood films would be screened in India a year after their release. When video libraries circulated pirated video tapes, the local representatives sat up and targeted at an early release. AXN which has been known to telecast episodes of on- going reality shows has also jumped into the current content fray. As part of its makeover and freshness strategy, on Sunday January 24, AXN is premiering Billions Season 1, ?Fresh from the US?. When it premiered in the US, it broke all records, becoming showtime?s most-watched original series debut ever. Billions S1, stars Emmy and Golden Globes winners Damian Lewis (Homeland fame) and Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man fame). It?s an explosive face-off between two powerful New York figures where the stakes are in billions, and two of New York?s most powerful titans are locked in an epic battle. There?s more lined up on AXN is seems including a season of 24. But Billions promises to provide Sunday night excitement. Following the enthusiasm for Quantico, channels are beginning to look at telecast rights for content which has recently premiered in the US. Furthermore, the technology driven, restless viewers download shows from the global platform. Why hasn?t any channel bid for telecast rights of the hugely popular Game of Thrones, a fantasy thriller; or the Glenn Close helmed Damages, a legal thriller?

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