If buzz in the small screen industry is to be believed, Sahara One entertainment channel’s future is uncertain. Speculation is rife that either it will close shop or be sold off. The arrest of its chief Subrata Roy over non-refund to investors has further fuelled the speculation.
Says an industry source, “There was a recent bid to sell off the channel. Talks were on with one or two parties, but nothing materialised. Then came the news of the Sahara chief’s arrest and things came to a standstill.”
The channel is best known for its popular show, Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, which aired from 2005 to 2011
For the last couple of years, the channel has not grabbed as many eyeballs as it set out to capture. In fact, many viewers are unaware that it still exists. Best remembered for its show Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, which aired from 2005 to 2011, the channel now has few takers. In 2012, they tried to recapture audiences with the Indo-Pak reality show, Sur Kshetra, but it proved to be a damp squib.
Adds the source, “All the decision making is done from Lucknow, since the channel’s top brass is based there. Over a year ago, Sahara’s Mumbai office shut down its sprawling premises in Goregaon and moved to a smaller place at Link Road in Andheri (west). The staff has been hearing all sorts of rumours though there is no official word yet.”
It may be pointed out that shooting for the channel’s shows is currently on, but in anticipation of an announcement, production houses are apparently on tenterhooks.
Incidentally, several Bollywood celebs — including actors Fardeen Khan and Johnny Lever, filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, lyricist Sameer and singer Sapna Mukherjee — had come together earlier this month to show their support for the beleaguered Sahara chief.