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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 1:01 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 1:01 AM (IST)

Watch out for more

With varied content and an audience spread out across the globe, Punjabi TV channels have not only survived tough times, but are also growing with each passing day

Jasmine Singh

There was a time when one would wait to watch Gurpreet Ghuggi in Punjabi serial Champian, which was relayed on DD Punjabi. The same Gurpreet Ghuggi and today’s popular comedian Binnu Dhillon were again seen together in ETC Punjabi’s Parchhawain. This was a time of limited Punjabi entertainment with limited number of channels; today, not only has the number increased but the content too has diversified. It caters to the youngsters, the literati, the music and film buffs; it is for kids, for homemakers, for those interested in knowing about what’s happening off, umpteen Punjabi channels are churning content for just about everyone.

It’s happening

From the humble DD Punjabi, to the hip and happening 9X Tashan, to all about movies in Pitaara, to more movies in Manoranjan, to reality shows, news, and family entertainment in PTC Punjabi; MH 1 to many others Punjabi channels...they are in a neck-to-neck race in not only redesigning content, but also catering to a population that is hooked to streaming. These ones only watch an XYZ show if it is fresh, snappy and meaningful (the connotation varies with every channel!).

Rabindra Narayan, managing director and president, PTC Network, defines this as the best phase of Punjabi entertainment. “It is a misconception that television is out of fashion, even today when a match is relayed the entire family sits together to watch TV. I think it is all about good content, and the catch lies in how intelligently it can be put across.”

Content call

Content is what drives these channels; for youth they have singing, and fashion reality shows, and campus shows, for literature-starved audiences they have serials, news is a USP of some channel and then, of course, music and films are there forever.

The word ‘content’ has acquired new meaning now. The newly opened Pitaara Punjabi is known for relaying Punjabi movies and now they’ve ventured into a talk show, Yaaran Di No 1 Yaari, with Punjabi singer-actor Ammy Virk. It is quite on the lines of Koffee With Karan! Sandeep Bansal, managing director, Pitaara and 9X Tashan, saw the vacuum in the market before the launch of Pitaara. “There was no dedicated film channel, so we came in — bringing three movies a day. The same holds true for 9 X Tashan, which ensured that it catered to the youth and also made sure that the quality of music improved.”

Tashan Da Peg with B Jay Randhawa was quite a popular show on the channel; a chat show with celebrities, it had a huge following among youngsters. Other Punjabi channels too saw youngsters as the biggest market. Shows like Canteene Mandeer on Mh1 catered to youngsters pursuing courses in various colleges and universities.

Diversify well

Food, beauty, movies, music, news, serials, youth-based and news-based talks shows, on location interviews of celebrities, Punjabi channels have realised that their survival depends on diversification; they have to understand the smart audience that has the option of watching hundreds of channels!


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