The end of an era; ‘Kyunki’ dies an unnatural death
 
Spicezee Bureau 

Mumbai, Oct 22: Eight years after Ekta Kapoor’s magnum opus sob-sob family drama ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ ruled small screen, the show is finally drawing to a close this November. 

But sad as it may sound the show has not been allowed to die a natural death, instead it has been forced to go off air as Star group unit has served a notice to the producers of the show calling for a termination of sourcing and telecasting the show. 

Just like the show itself, the end to the maha saga has been no less than overdramatic as the channel and production house are dragging each other to the court. But for those of you who are still unaware as to what happened here’s the sad story. 

Star group unit has stated that it would terminate sourcing and telecasting popular television show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ from Nov 10. 

Once one of India’s top-rated shows, ‘Kyunki’ is produced by Balaji and the termination is in breach of contractual obligation owed by the Star group to Balaji, the content maker said in a statement to the BSE. 

Shares in Balaji fell as much as 13.3 percent to 94.20 rupees after the news and recovered slightly to trade 11.42 percent down at 96.20 rupees at the close of trade in a firm Mumbai market. 

Star was paying a premium for ‘Kyunki’ due to its popularity and to prevent Balaji from providing other broadcasters with shows at the same time slot, two analysts said. But as newer shows stole ratings, the premium lost relevance, they said. 

According to TAM Media Research, ‘Balika Vadhu’, a drama on a child bride, and Star’s ‘Bidayi’ topped the ratings charts, while ‘Kyunki’ didn’t feature among the top five shows in the Hindi general entertainment genre. 

Analysts say that while they were expecting the show to be cancelled, the announcement came 2-3 months earlier than expected, signalling more losses for Balaji. 

“For 2-3 months, there will be a decline in revenue of Balaji,” said an analyst from a Mumbai brokerage who declined to be named. “It’s definitely a negative for Balaji.” 

The 8-year-old series ‘Kyunki’ gained popularity as an early Hindi soap with the central character of a daughter-in-law, ‘Tulsi’, played by Smriti Irani and has crossed 1,500 episodes, according to Balaji’s website. 

In August this year, Star and Balaji said they will cancel their joint venture agreement to launch regional language channels and the Indian broadcaster will sell its 25.99 percent stake in Balaji. 

The founders of Balaji are entitled to purchase the stake on their own or through a third party for 190 rupees a share. 

Star, whose flagship general entertainment channel Star Plus, is the top-rated channel, faces close competition from new entrant Colors, a joint venture between Viacom Inc and the Network18 group, TAM data showed. 

Its other rivals include New Delhi Television’s NDTV Imagine and general entertainment channels owned by Zee Entertainment, Sony Entertainment and Sahara

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