Star Network had a vision to create its own competition for the leading general entertainment channel (GEC), Star Plus. So while on one side, Star Plus catered to the women in the households, the network wanted to create a channel that catered to the entire family. It decided to reincarnate one of its older channels Star One (defunct youth-oriented) and repackaged it with a new and fresh content. And that is how on 18 December 2011 Life OK was born.
The network decided that the differentiating factor for the channel will be that it will not fall prey to the regular saas-bahu soaps. Reason, it didn’t want to divide the family but wanted to entertain the entire family and wanted to go beyond entertainment and into social media messaging.
It began with shows like Saubhagyavati Bhava and Mahadev which struck a right chord with the audiences. And since then there has been no stopping for the channel which has given hits after hits with its crime properties like Shapath and Savdhaan India. So far, the channel has experimented with four reality shows - Hunarbaaz, Laugh India Laugh, Welcome and The Bachelorette India - all of which garnered mediocre viewership.
However, when the tough gets going, the going gets tough. For one hit the channel gave, it had three failures. But Life OK EVP and general manager Ajit Thakur has always enjoyed failures because according to him without the low, there is no value of a high.
Now in its third year, Life OK takes 14 per cent market share of the entire pie as it continues to showcase innovative and disruptive content to stay in the game. Not only did it climb up to the number three position by beating Colors in week 22 of TAM TV ratings, it also made naysayers sit and take notice.
Talking about this year’s highlights, the channel started the year with its first big-ticket Bollywood event, The 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards that registered a whopping 9 million TVTs, three per cent more than the 6.9 million TVTs (ratings provided by Life OK) garnered by Colors for its last year’s edition.
Riding high on the success of Screen Awards, the channel decided to get more Bollywood stars on board and launched Life OK Now Awards which celebrates excellence in the field of film, television and music, every month. The channel has aired only four editions till now.
This year, it made many ‘firsts’. The channel saw the birth of shows like Comedy Classes, its first stint with comedy which delivered decent numbers at the ratings chart and Dare 2 Dance, its first reality dance show where the Khiladi of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar came on-board as the host. The channel also introduced an action thriller series christened Pukaar – Call for the Hero which is delivering decent numbers.
After a successful three year run, the channel’s flagship property Mahadev saw its curtains fall. The culmination of Mahadev paved way for, Mahakumbh- Ek Rahasya, Ek Kahani.
Not only is the channel proud of its achievements but rivals too have applauded the experiments it has done throughout the year. An official from a rival channel believes that Life OK has established itself in the space. “We didn't expect the channel to do so well in such a short span of time. It did come out with some great tacks like Mahadev and Savdhaan India. However, this year we didn’t see a huge property coming from it even though it did wonderful at the ratings chart. Nonetheless, we wish the channel good luck for the future.”
Advertisers too have been appreciative of the channel and have supported it throughout.
After a successful 2014, it is going to be an eventful 2015 for the channel as it gears up for a revamp. As per sources, the revamp will happen early next year, between January and March.