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TV buying should shift from CPRP to CPT: Danish Khan, SET

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TV buying should shift from CPRP to CPT: Danish Khan, SET

In September 2015, Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI)’s Hindi general entertainment channel, Sony Entertainment Television (SET,) went through a makeover not just with regard to its content but also the team. To bring in fresh energy and thoughts, Danish Khan from Star was appointed to head the channel and put together a team of professionals. In these two years, Khan and his team have not only put the channel in the top three list but has also given viewers a wide variety on their plate to satisfy their hunger for new content.

After setting up a high note in 2017 with the shows like KBC, Super Dancer, Porus and Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai, Khan and his team is all set to welcome 2018 with a bang. In the new year, the channel will roll out its first original, Prithvi Vallabh on January 20. Also, the channel will bring back Sony’s best non-fiction shows including the much awaited Dus Ka Dum, which will be hosted by superstar Salman Khan. In conversation with exchange4media, Khan share his experience of two years journey at SPN, shows in 2018 and goals for the new year. Excerpts:

How was 2017 for Sony Entertainment Television?

The year was pretty good for the channel. If we look at the average, the channel was number one for nine weeks. That too for a channel which was down a couple of years back and in two years-time the channel been on number one position. More than market leadership, in 2017, we have been able to do few things which were very progressive.

KBC made a comeback this year with the digital play. I think with the importance of the second screen and interactivity, we got 30 million people playing along. KBC was a huge achievement. We bought one indigenous concept, Super Dancer season 2, which was developed by us and it’s travelling across the globe as a format. The format is popular in markets like South East Asia, Middle Europe and South America. From a syndication point of view, the show has done extremely well and soon it will be available on their screens. Our big launch for 2017 was the show Porus, where we partnered with the production house and as a channel invested to produce a show together which will have the high production and archival value. It started well and it's been just two-three weeks since its launch and I think it has set a new benchmark. Another show on Sony, Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai, is among the shows that we’re very proud of. It just goes to say that good shows like this do work and rattle the misconception about GECs only airing Saas Bahu dramas.

• SET grows from #6 to become the #1 player in the HGE category.
• Kaun Banega Crorepati garners average 6 Million episodic impressions in the current season (Average Week 35-43’17.)
• Viewership for KBC in the current season witnesses a 78% growth over the last season (2014.)

What challenges have you faced in the last two years?

When I joined Sony, the channel was on number six in the ranking of GEC and the perception was that the channel lacks variety. It was just CID and Crime Patrol. In this two year journey, we worked on the brand. We made a specific brand with a specific promise of various novel concepts and high quality production. I believe we have delivered in two years. We have brought variety to the channel, we experimented with new concepts in which some worked and some didn’t, but we have come up with new voices in the creative field. It was a wonderful journey at Sony. Two things that we’re very proud of are the creative team at Sony and that we’ve moved from number six to top three channels in two years.

Can you tell us more about SET Originals?

Sony Originals has only two broad objectives. Firstly, Sony Originals believes that India is ready to bring content for global audience. So, we are making stories based out of Indian culture and history that can travel across the globe. This is Sony Original. Indian content created by India for global audiences. Second objective is to help some of the creative voices to tell the story like we are working with Anirudh Pathak on Prithvi Vallabh. There is creative talent which might not have financial support or a big production set up. The idea is to bring out creative outstanding talent on television. We are also in talks with the global market for Prithvi Vallabh. In the coming week, we will be able to share more details. The show is launching on January 20 and before that, we’ll announce our syndication partners who will take the show across the globe. Apart from that, in 2018, we will have four such production roll outs.

What are your plans for 2018?

The year 2018 is going to be a very important year for us at Sony. In the last two years, the team was rebuilding and putting plans into place. 2018 will see our full-fledged comprehensive playout of strategy. Non-fictions shows is one pillar of that strategy. So, the viewers will see a comeback of KBC, Dus Ka Dum and four other non-fiction shows. Also, the Kapil Sharma show will soon be back on Sony. On the fiction front, the shows will be finite, urban and young in nature.

What is your wish for 2018?

I would like to see two things happening in the coming year in the television industry. That is hopefully we will move from CPRP (Cost Per Ratings Point) model which is relative in nature to CPT (Cost Per Thousand) model because when you move to CPT, the creative people will get the right price for the TV content and TV can really move forward. I wish all the advertisers, media agencies and broadcasters come together and move from CPRP to CPT which will be a major push in the TV industry.

Secondly, digital is not coming; digital is here. I think over a period of time this will evolve the selling and buying trading pattern for TV because on digital people don’t consume the platform, they consume content. It’s important as an industry to come up with a model where we can monetise TV and digital well.

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