Saturday, April 14, 2007

Zee, Star in war of words over musical show

Entertainment channel Zee Telefilms has threatened its rival Star Plus with legal action if its new musical talent-hunt show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa turns out to be similar to its own 12-year old show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

In fact, the show on Star Plus is produced by veteran television producer Gajendrra Siingh, who was till now producing the popular musical show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa for Zee TV.

Apart from the same producer, Star has also roped the same anchor (singer Shaan), and judges including music director Jatin, Lalit, Aadesh Srivastava, and singers Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik, who were on the show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV six months ago.

But senior Star executives denied any similarity to the Zee show. “The show is produced by Saibaba Telefilms, the same production house which made the show for Zee. Now they are making a musical talent-hunt show for us and we can assure you that the format and presentation of our show will be unique which viewers will know once it’s on-air,” said Harsh Krishna Rohtagi, general manager, content & communications for Star TV India.

Zee executives called the Star’s move to launch a musical talent-hunt show a ‘pity’. “It is a pity that Star has to resort to aping content from Zee TV. I do understand the frustration of Star post major programming failures and loosing out leadership to Zee on almost all the time bands but viewers worldwide identify Sa Re Ga Ma Pa with Zee and I wish star all the best in their latest copying attempt,” Ashish Kaul, senior vice president of Zee group.

However, on two previous occasions also, Zee TV had served legal notice to Star for coming up with TV shows similar in content and format to Zee shows. On both occasions Star obliged by either withdrawing the show or by changing its structure.

“Once Star Vijaya, the tamil channel of Star India was launching Saregamapa and we had served then legal notice expressing our reservations. They withdrew the show. Again, when Star One was launching a soap called Beetiyaan...similar to a Zee soap, we objected and they had to change the name,” Kaul said.

The 12-year show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has consistently delivered high ratings for Zee and has been the channel driver at 8pm-9pm time band and later at the 10 pm time band. In fact, Zee has launched several versions of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa—for kids, in regional launguages and the latest Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge which was launched in 2005.

Source : Business Standard

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