Special Feature: The 7 most repeated Bollywood films on UK TV

Lakh Baddhan

Senior Editor


There was a time when TV channels retained their best movies for paid subscribers, who had access to premium content. As time went by, TV channels increased, competition got intense and fight for BARB numbers took precedent.

Only a couple of years ago, the Sky Asia Pack concept got off to an interesting start but things took an awry turn when particular services began sticking premium movie titles on free to air variants to ramp up BARB numbers on these channels (premium channels were not BARB measured in the Sky Asia Pack). Blockbuster movie titles and classic gems started appearing on TV schedules of free channels, which eventually led to the axing of the Sky Asia Pack.

By this time, viewers had already tasted the biggest selection of blockbuster films than ever before. This also meant that some films had run their course after broadcasters repeatedly telecast the same films to generate viewership. Now when viewing numbers are more important than ever for the major TV channels, the magic seems to be waning on these once dependable titles.

Raj Baddhan from BizAsiaLive.com looks at seven of the most repeated films on UK Asian television.

On Sony TV Network

If there’s one film that will sum up Sony MAX’s output, it’s ‘Sooryavansham’ starring Amitabh Bachchan. The film may not have done well at the box office but initially did well on television. However, it’s high rotation has resulted in a decline in popularity for the 1998 film.

On ZEE Network & B4U Movies

This Shah Rukh Khan family drama has been successful whenever it is shown but last few times the film has been telecast on ZEE Cinema and &TV, the response has been somewhat lukewarm. In its last outing on &TV UK on Saturday 27th January 2018, the film could only draw a measly 1,600 viewers. So is this a sign that viewers have had enough of this 1997 cult classic?

Hum Aapke Hain Koun
On ZEE Network

One of the biggest blockbusters to come out of Bollywood and still loved by many for its wedding theme. When the film first premiered on TV, it was Sony TV that had acquired the premiere rights, however since then, ZEE Network has been the exclusive broadcaster for it. In the UK, ZEE has five channels and to take advantage of the film’s loyal following, ZEE has shown the film numerous on all channels (except ZEE Punjabi). The blockbuster movie no longer attracts the audience it did previously, which could only mean viewers no longer attracted to this big fat Bollywood wedding.

Hum Saath Saath Hain
On ZEE Network

Like ‘Hum Aap Ke Hain Koun’, ZEE has been clever to schedule Rajshri Productions’s other film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ on high rotation hoping it would generate the response it did when it released at the box office in 1999. The film has been showing on all ZEE channels in the UK and probably in all day parts. By resting the film for a few months, the film could get its glory back but currently the film is not proving as successful as it did when it was first telecast.

Maine Pyar Kiya
On ZEE Network

‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ is the most defining youth Bollywood romance. The film remains close to the 80s & 90s generation babies. When it was first premiered on Channel 4 in the 90s, go now on the various ZEE channels, the Salman Khan and Bhagyashree film remains successful as ever. However, recently the film has had a dip with viewership of 2,000 individuals watching the film. It’s another film, where viewing fatigue has set in.

On Sony TV Network

The emotional family drama ‘Baghban’ has been shown on most Asian TV channels and while Sony TV Network holds the rights currently, it’s repeat quotient has resulted in the film not working as well. Despite an impressive star cast, viewers have moved on from the regressive 90s extended family melodramas and that’s why a film like ‘Baghban’ is proving a turn off these days.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
On Sony TV Network

One of the most successful films to come out of Bollywood, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ has been shown in every way possible across the network- be it dayparts, film festivals or just a screening as HD premiere on the recently launched Sony MAX UK. The film still does well on Sony TV Network but the programming team at Sony needs to understand to give it some space and not to kill off one of its biggest film titles by its frequent repeat pattern.