New Delhi: Following the prime time programming slot auction that concluded earlier in December, state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan is all set to roll out new television shows, starting February.
Production houses Ekta Kapoor-promoted Balaji Telefilms and Saaibaba Telefilms are readying programming ranging from youth-oriented shows to family dramas and music reality shows in a bid to revive the viewership and finances of the network.
“From our table, one of the shows is going to be a youth-focused show, while another will be a love story. As for the third slot, we are planning a hard-core daily soap—a family drama," said Ketan Gupta, chief operating officer, television business at Balaji Telefilms.
Balaji Telefilms Ltd, the maker of superhit fiction shows such as Pavitra Bandhan (which runs on DD National) and Kumkum Bhagya (on Zee), successfully bagged three slots (half an hour each for 8-9:30pm programming) from Monday to Thursday. As for Friday, the production house won two slots for 8-9pm programming.
Currently, DD National runs Balaji’s Pavitra Bandhan, mythological show Siya Ram and daily soap Pammi Beauty Parlour during prime time on weekdays.
While Balaji’s focus remains on emotional dramas, Saaibaba Telefilms popular for shows like Antakshari, SaReGaMa and Star Voice of India will continue its legacy by producing music-focused fiction and reality shows for Doordarshan.
“Music is loved by everybody. That is why we are developing a similar format for Doordarshan as well. Our weekday show will be a music-led comedy programme with a larger focus on youth," said Shweta Singh, director at Saaibaba Telefilms, adding that the production house is working on another music reality show for the weekend programming.
Saaibaba Telefilms won three slots in the auction—one half an hour slot from Monday to Friday and two one-hour slots for Saturday and Sunday.
Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio, had put up 7-11pm slots on all weekdays on auction in May, while keeping the 7-8pm slot on Saturdays for its own content. The auction concluded earlier in December. However, some of the slots which did not receive any bid in the first auction, have been put up for sale again. The broadcaster had issued a request for proposal (RFP) in the last week of December, inviting applications for the slots between 10-11pm (two half an hour slots) and 7-8pm on Sunday.
The decision to auction programming slots is a part of Prasar Bharati’s efforts to revamp the entire Doordarshan network. “Post this, we are planning to auction Doordarshan’s feature film slots. There are some other revamp plans under the way as well," said a Doordarshan official, who did not wish to be identified.