Press Release

Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate wins applause; but will it be able to sustain?

6 May 2012

Cost per episode - Rs 4 crore; money spent on marketing - Rs 6 crore; advertising sponsorship deals - anywhere between Rs 6-12 crore; show telecast - over eight languages on STAR TV Network channels and Doordarshan. Evidently, Satyamev Jayate on Star Plus is not just a debut experiment of Amir Khan's 'long-awaited' television career. Neither is it the channel's noble effort to offer something fresh to the much-bored Sunday television audience. Satyamev Jayate is just too huge a gamble, not just in terms of investments but also because it attempts to wake up the much-dead 11 am slot on lazy Sundays. 

Quite as anticipated, the first episode of Satyamev Jayate seems to have opened houseful with many household jostled together before their television sets to see what Khan's latest foray would finally bring to the audiences. The show opened with a focus on female foeticide wherein real life cases and their stories were brought to the fore. But even as the episode received the much-deserved applause, will such content find the requisite audience on a Sunday 11 am slot? afaqs! Finds out!

Satyamev Jayate more or less follows the news format wherein a talk show is held within the studio and person concerned with the case is interviewed by the host Aamir Khan. The format seems similar to that of Zindagi Live on IBN7. 

The studio audience include experts and people who can share their own life stories and points-of-view on the given topic to make that given episode more interactive. Not to forget, there are quite a few visual clips shown in a news documentary format during the episode which further establish the relevance of the topic.

And this is where the expectation is hurt a little. The promo campaign of the show clearly establishes the fact that Khan has traveled the length and breadth of the country to get these stories on board. However, when the real content is revealed, at least in its first episode, that story narrative does not get captured completely. Add to that the seriousness of the topics chosen, and the 11 am Sunday slot could prove to be a deterrent after all.

A top media expert on conditions of anonymity, says, "The Sunday 11 am slot needs to radiate energy and since the subject chosen is quite heavy, it could be eventually difficult to keep the audiences glued to the screen. The slot currently does not make more that 0.9 TVR and it would be lucky if the show could sustain itself at a 1 TVR."

Ravishankar N, media partner, Media Planning Associates, however, has a different view. According to him, the content of the show will speak volumes for itself and create good resonance in the market. However, it is not necessary that the popularity will reflect in the numbers.

"While the big marketing push on the show has already started showing results, bringing in the requisite market share for the channel, the show will pull in more audiences from Sec A till Sec B2 and not beyond that," he says.

But all said and done, there still stays an undeniable and obvious optimism around the show's performance at the 11 am slot. "It's always the show that creates the slot. If the content is good and the target is right, the slot is sure to work. People wake up even at 5 am to watch cricket. Mahabharata worked during the same slot almost two decades back. The success/failure of the slot and the show will depend upon how much of a sustainable value that property holds," says Dinesh Rathore, vice-president, Starcom MediaVest Group.


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