FRIDAY REVIEW

And now on a time slot

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY

GETTING A LIFE FOR YOU Aditya Tripathi, Vice President, Lifestyle, Discovery India.

GETTING A LIFE FOR YOU Aditya Tripathi, Vice President, Lifestyle, Discovery India.  

This past October, Discovery Travel & Living concluded one year in India. At a time when niche channels are the trend and reality shows the eye turners, the channel, says Discovery India's Vice President, Lifestyle, Aditya Tripathi, saw a fruitful year here. The channel's "lifestyle shows with a difference" have caught the eye of upscale Indian adults, he states. Particularly the young couples that would like to watch television together. "So our cookery shows have a healthy male viewer presence, and our bike shows have more female viewers than male," he pads up further.

But the end of a year has also brought the channel to a competitive intersection, where the question arises, what more can it offer? The result, as Aditya narrates the array, is a line-up of new programmes on Discovery Travel & Living to be aired from the last week of December through the first quarter of 2006.

One of the channel's best received shows, "The American Chopper".

One of the channel's best received shows, "The American Chopper".  

Says Aditya, "Though the latest TAM ratings (week 48) say we have done better than most channels, we still feel, the time is now for the channel to concentrate on appointment viewing. So we have thought of shows to be shown at fixed times - every Monday till Friday at 9 p.m." Trying to offer something different, what the channel would present is not a particular show at a particular time week after week, but offer a full dose of the chosen theme from Monday to Friday and then move on to the next theme the following week.

"The idea of having theme weeks, I feel, is going to work here because an interested viewer of a particular theme would think of taking out some time to watch at least one show in a week," says Aditya. Also, the tacit aim is to augment with a single story, the stickiness of a viewer day after day, who is otherwise a channel surfer.

Aditya says the theme to begin this slot of appointment viewing is that of great hotels across the world, to be followed by "Beach Week" from January 2 to 6. From January 9 to 13, it will show "Planet Food Week" and so on. "Also lined up are theme weeks based on home design, romance, travel, fashion, relaxation, bikes, etc.," he adds. Among shows he particularly talks about is "Long Way Round Week", which captures the three-month long trip of Europe, Asia, Canada and the U.S. by actor Ewan Mcgregor with his childhood chum Charley Boorman.

Also, on Saturdays and Sundays, the channel will repeat "the best programmes being aired on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those viewers who can't watch TV on weekdays due to work, etc."

Elaborating on refurbishing the lifestyle channel, Aditya also speaks of commissioning shows locally. "In 2006, you will see at least three locally produced shows on the channel. By March 2006, we shall present a travel show on the Indian metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. It will be off the beaten path and show you avenues that you don't know in these cities. It will be far away from the usual drill of site-seeing and the like in these places," he claims.

Also in the pipeline, he adds, is a locally produced cookery show, the shooting of which will begin this January.

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