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Zindagi plans growth from original programming
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Update :  Zindagi plans growth from original programming
MUMBAI: On 23 June 2014, Zindagi
introduced a new form of storytelling
into the television space by
showcasing finite Pakistani shows. A
year since then, the channel is
stepping into original programming, in
terms of both fiction and non-fiction.
Zindagi’s first original non-fiction
show ‘Shukriya’ will feature real
stories from across the world and is
designed to appreciate the little
things of life. The show will premiere
on 9 August, airing every Sunday at 8
In line with the channel’s philosophy,
the reality show will have 13 episodes
featuring 13 stories initially.
However, ‘Shukriya’ has been planned
as a seasonal property and will have a
second season later.
ZEEL chief business officer Sunil Buch
said, “Our endeavour is to keep people
engaged. We believe there is a need
for varied content because people
have loved our shows until now. Non-
fiction is the way to go.”
Produced by Frames, ‘Shukriya’ will
present heart-warming stories of
gratitude, hosted by actor Gunjan
Zindagi and FTA cluster business head
Priyanka Datta stresses that the
objective is to steer clear of the
regular song-and-dance shows as
they do not resonate with the
philosophy of the channel.
“We launched Zindagi with a promise
to give our viewers differentiated and
unique content from across the globe
and in this journey we pioneered a lot
of things. We began our journey with
handpicked stories from Pakistan,
dramas that were finite in nature
with fast-pace narratives, low
melodrama, natural talent, original
soundtracks, etc. Besides, the shows
were shot in real locations. We
brought back the era of telefilms on
Indian television,” she said.
The channel’s original programming
strategy is meant to ensure growth in
the near future. In addition to non-
fiction, Zindagi will soon launch
fiction programming as well,
production for which is presently
“Fiction will take a while. We have
identified concepts, our production is
underway,” Datta revealed.
Does this mean the Pakistani content
currently running on the channel will
be replaced with original fiction
To this, Buch replied, “No, we won’t
phase out the content from Pakistan.
The proximity and overlap in terms of
language and culture created a
demand for Pakistani content. Now we
will offer differentiated content, not
necessarily Pakistani. We already have
a large library of Pakistani content so
that is not going away.”
Datta is quick to add that this is
another leap by the channel and that
the competition is not with the GECs.
“We have only 13- or 20-episode
finite content. On Hindi GECs, there
are non-fiction shows, movie
premieres, etc. and in that
hullabaloo, you can’t compare us.
When we did our research prior to
launch, we found that a section of
viewers are tired of seeing these long
sagas and want a change. Zindagi is
thus a category creator in its own
right,” she said.
‘Shukriya’ being its first original
production, the channel has backed it
with unique promotional strategies.
The team has created three short
films to bring alive the importance of
saying ‘shukriya’ in various
relationships and the films have been
seeded across YouTube, Facebook and
all Zindagi digital platforms. The first
two videos have already grabbed over
3.6 lakh views, states the channel.
Zindagi has also associated with
Snapdeal for a dedicated ‘Shukriya’
store on the Snapdeal website and
app. This initiative is in celebration of
‘Friendship Day’ where the channel
and Snapdeal give users discounted
offers to buy special gifts for
The channel also associated with Big
FM to create a ‘Shukriya’ experience
for their listeners where RJs say
‘shukriya’ to local unsung heroes in
24 of their stations across India.
Some real-life stories shared by Big
FM will be narrated by Gunjan and RJ
Siddharth in a segment called ‘Keh do
Shukriya’ on Zindagi.
Since the show is made of real people,
over 50 housing colonies in Delhi are
being tapped to celebrate ‘Shukriya
Day’. Multiplex viewers have been
targeted across over 400 screens for
three weeks with movies like
‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Drishyam’, and
Mission Impossible 5′. This is
alongside print and TV campaigns
including leveraging the platforms of
ZMCL to drive tune-ins in key
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