After years of intense competition from rivals STAR Plus and Sony Entertainment Television Asia, ZEE TV is back in the reckoning and the results speak for them self.

According to Tam data published on the online portal IndianTelevision, ZEE TV has whizzed ahead of its nearest competitor Sony Entertainment Television Asia in the all day time band. What’s even more, ZEE TV has also taken a lead in primetime (19:00 – 23:00) fending off competition from Sony Entertainment Television Asia. The analysis was made between 2nd April 2006 to 30th April 2006, CS4+ HSM. Also to point out at this stage is that STAR Plus remains India’s numero uno channel.

In response to the turn around for ZEE TV, it has hiked its ad prices for its flagship shows. Channel driver Saat Phere and other shows Kasamh Se and new addition Jabb Love Hua are performing exceptionally well.

“The logic behind the rate hike is fine performance. We wanted our inventories to meet the demand-supply situation. And hence, we have increased the ad rates of some shows, which passed the bench mark. For the upcoming shows Johnny Ala Re and Shabash India, we have zeroed in on decent rates, which we think are right,” says ZEE Network EVP Sales Joy Chakraborthy.

The data says it all: In the prime time band, the average channel share ZEE TV has posted within the above five week period is 14.6 per cent, against Sony’s 14.2 per cent. In the all day time band, ZEE holds a significant 18.6 per cent of channel share, while Sony’s share now stands at a meagre 12.4 per cent.

ZEE TV has retained the number two position for several months. Furthermore, the week commencing 24th March witnessed the launch of mega shows on both ZEE TV and Sony. Once again, the results favoured ZEE TV. Its new show Jabb Love Hua was launched against Sony’s new shows Aisa Desh Hai Mera and Thodi Khushi Thode Gham.

Commenting to IndianTelevision, ZEE TV programming head Ashwini Yardi said; “The soap (Jabb Love Hua) opened with 0.6 TVRs in the opening week and the following week it recorded a far better 1.7 TVR. The storyline is going to gather much steam in the coming weeks and we are confident of the soap giving a solid performance”.

ZEE TV in days to come is gearing up to launch its mega comedy show Johnny Ala Re with comedian Johnny Lever. Another new show called Subhash India is also ready to go on air in the next couple of months.

The leader STAR Plus holds an average channel share of 57.9 per cent in the prime time band. Interestingly, there is a tough fight – as intense as the one for the second place – going on for the fourth spot in prime time between Sahara One and STAR One. Taking an average of the five week period, STAR One is placed with 5.8 per cent channel share, against Sahara One’s 5.5 per cent. Sab TV holds a 2.1 per cent channel share here.

The next few weeks will play importance in Sony’s fight for the number two position. It is launching yet another two shows – Kabhi Tho Nazar Milao and Rishton Ki Dor. The channel is also premiering movies like Saalam Namaste, Kalyug, Deewane Huye Pagal and Neal and Nikki within the next few weeks. In the UK, there is also talk of more live and exclusive cricket in the offing. Could all this turn around the fortunes for Sony TV? We’ll certainly keep a closer eye on this.

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