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KISS TV Relaunch: The Hits & Misses ·

Bottomline Kenya

For like the hundredth time in a few years, Radio Africa Limited’s KISS TV relaunched on 9th December after going into hibernation in August when it was revealed that the station had been making losses in the tune of Kshs. 10 Million per month. It is now back as a full-fledged entertainment channel complete with a fresher look and a host of new programmes. With a tag line of “Not What You Think” the station plans to package its content to cater for the youth demographic of Kenyans between 18-24 years.

“For us, it’s just exciting to come back to the youth who built Kiss TV and really push through the envelope on what is real TV programming is in Kenya. It’s going to be a totally different Kiss TV from what it has been in the past. It’s going to be hype, sleek and with international quality.” said Makari Kituyi, Radio Africa’s Head of TV on launch day.

Have KISS TV got it right this time? Will it be able to stay afloat with its youthful approach in the war for viewership with heavyweights such as Citizen TV? Well, from what we’ve experienced so far, we have a mixed assessment so far:

New, New, New!! Oh Wait, Its Just Music…

The look and feel of the station has really improved, from the commercial breaks, program ads and even the programmes themselves. However, KISS TV’s new progamming is about 90% music-oriented, majority of which are music chart shows and music playlist shows with a few 5-10 minute fillers such as Roroa, Circuit, Superstar Countdown, 10 Over 10,  Bust A Move, Graced and 4Reel which deal with celebrities, dance tutorials, TV, film and other entertainment avenues than just raw music. The most interesting of these is Sold Out which will be airing exclusive concerts from international superstars such as Kanye West (on December 14), Lady Gaga (December 21) and Usher (December 28).

I don’t think an overkill of similar music shows all day is an efficient way to retain youth viewership. It is going to be very difficult to break our mentality of settling down to music shows between 4-7 PM or later in the night on weekdays and looking for something else during prime time. It doesn’t matter how new or exclusive the music they show is – at  some point endlessly being fed with raw music alone will wear off  the average viewer.

Some of the new shows on KISS TV

There is an obvious need for more diverse content especially around prime time. One or two local dramas or or an original local reality show perhaps? How about magazine shows that cover fashion, poetry, art and other related stuff that the youth are interested in?  Even if the new prime time content MUST be based on music, a little diversity with the programming will go a long way. Case in point is 48 Parties in 48 Hours – Shaffie Weru’s recent attempt to attend 48 parties in 48 hours – which was mainly an event for the station’s radio counterpart KISS 100 FM. I hear visuals from the event may be used to create some content for KISS TV – a very organic idea that uses the strength of their radio station to help get attention for the TV wing.

If It Aint Broke, Don’t Fix It (Until Its Broke)…

It is pleasing to note that the popular shows from the older version – Patikana, E News and Live On Blast – of the station have been retained. In fact, retaining  Live On Blast and giving the it extra airtime as Live On Blast: Afterburn is one of the best decisions of the relaunch. The music mix show, hosted by DJ Hypnotiq and DeeDee has emerged as the most interactive and one of the most popular daily music shows since 2012.

When it comes to E News however, its new pairing of the half-enthusiactic Fred Indimuli and half-bored Gaetano Kagwa as the hosts is tends to be really excruciating at times. The fact that they host the show at a very random office location does little to help the already sorry situation. Can’t they do it with a green screen as usual?  That being said, I’d have like to see E News graduate to being a much more serious entertainment news show.

Online Presence? Not What You Think…

Anybody with a link to the official KISS TV Facebook page? Enough said.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The timing of the relaunch couldn’t be better. The station is at least guaranteed some eyeball action over the holidays. However, it will be absolutely critical for KISS TV to think outside the box over the next few months if it intends to stay afloat as a 100% entertainment station.  Their shows need to be more diverse or with some extra value added in order to retain our attention which is strong now only because we love new things in general.

What do you think about the KISS TV relaunch? What would you add or subtract? Feel free to use the comments section.

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