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Are television soaps aired to sell entertainment or beauty soaps!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Advertisements play a major role in deciding the financial future and progress of a particular satellite channel. But shouldn't there be a certain airtime limit fixed for it? Don't we sometime wonder whether we are seeing ads within our favourite soap or soap within ads?

"I don't think so. I think it's very evenly balanced. We take conscious effort to make sure that the ads are limited," says Sandiip Sickand, Senior Creative Director, Sony Entertainment Television.

Veteran director Ajai Sinha who has made soaps like 'Astitva - ek prem Kahani', sees nothing wrong in this television phenomenon. "If you are doing a business, you have to keep an eye on the economy. Even you write an article because you get the money. If there's a demand for a particular show, why won't anyone cash on it", says Ajai Sinha.

Veteran director-producer Ravi Rai seems to have the most logical explanation. "In today's time, everything boils down to money. Ads are important for the channels' revenues. But the important thing is the placing of the ads which has to be allocated properly", quotes Ravi Rai.

But due to a channel's economical needs, aren't we doing injustice with the audience's right to watch entertainment? After all, nobody likes to have a long frustrated break when something dramatic is going to happen in his or her favorite character's life.

"During an exciting one-day game, viewers do get frustrated due to an ad break but I don't think the same goes for serials. Ads revenue is definitely very important. And moreover if your hook before the break is good, the audience would definitely come back", explains Sandiip Sickand.

Ajai Sinha too has seems to have a quite a diplomatic answer. "That's a business technique. If you interrupt a dramatic happening, the audiences would be glued to the television set to watch it further and in the process watch the ads for which the ad companies pay," says Ajai Sinha.

"Good catch point raises the curiosity of the viewer. If it's there, the audiences would wait within the break in anticipation of the climax of a particular dramatic scene", says Ravi Rai.

This is one point where everyone seems to agree. But in today's world every audience has a remote in his hand to surf different channels while the ads are being played. What if while doing so he gets involved in watching a more interesting soap on a different channel and loses interest in the soap he was viewing before. Doesn't the TRP get affected by this?

"Here you are right. Everybody is feeling this in a channel. That's the reason why in today's world the television channels have become much more competitive", admits Sandiip Sickand honestly.

Ravi Rai too believes that sometimes you tend to lose your viewers. "Yeah, I believe it does happen. But in the end somebody's loss is another's gain", quotes Ravi Rai.

Ajai Sinha too doesn't enjoy the interruption that a break creates. "See, if the TRPs are high that means you get more money on each ad aired. If, the audiences are really interested in a particular show, then he would definitely get back to watch it even if he or she is surfing channels. And again it varies from person to person. I myself keep the volume mute when the ads are being played between the break", says Ajai Sinha. Guess it boils down to ads being a necessary evil, something which our TV shows just can't do without.

Read more about: sony tv
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