STAR desperate for Super Singer's success

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 01, 2004
The STAR network hopes to generate viewership for the show through its mass channels like STAR Plus and then shift it to CHannel [v]

Tomorrow (December 2) is going to be one big day for STAR TV India. That's the day when Samsung [v] Super Singer will be launched simultaneously on five channels of the STAR India network - STAR Plus, STAR Gold, STAR Utsav, STAR One and CHannel [v]. Clearly, STAR is hell-bent in turning this gameshow as a blockbuster property.

agencyfaqs! tried to unravel the reasons behind STAR orchestrating such a mega-launch, and found some plausible explanations.

First and foremost, STAR India has put in a substantial amount of money in this project, where for the preliminary episodes, the CHannel [v] team travelled across the country in search of that special someone. Now, it's the time to recover the money and to make a profit. And, the only way to make it happen is through ensuring a high TVR for the gameshow.

Second, there's no doubt that Samsung [v] Super Singer will be benchmarked against Sony's Indian Idol, a gameshow of a similar genre. The Sony show, after witnessing some aggressive marketing, made its debut on air with a TVR of 4 in the last week of October. Sources say, it would have been difficult for CHannel [v] to match Sony's figures, if Samsung [v] Super Singer's premiere was only restricted to STAR's music channel. Seen from this perspective, the concept of a five-channel-premiere makes ample sense since getting anything less than a TVR of 4 will be a sacrilege for STAR.

The challenge for STAR is, in fact, greater now as Indian Idols' TVR is apparently going downhill. After peaking to a viewership of 4.5 in the second week (November 1-7, 2004), the TVRs fell to just 3.8 in the third week (November 8-14). With the popularity for such programmes seemingly on a decline, it is absolutely necessary for STAR to up its ante and garner both initial and consistent viewership.

Officially, STAR India maintains that the decision for the simultaneous launch is because of numbers. Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice-president marketing and communication, STAR India, says, "The first objective behind launching this show on all five channels is to generate viewership for the show. We are hopeful that at least some portion of this viewership base will eventually move to CHannel [v], which caters to the typical metro youth."

Citing another reason behind this strategic move, Vidyasagar says, "It has been observed in the past that talent shows have become quite popular among the masses, and especially among viewers in smaller towns and sub-metros. By launching the show on channels such as STAR Plus and STAR Gold, we will be able to promote the show even in these markets."

Going by this logic, STAR India should have been premiered on STAR Plus, which is mass entertainment - right? Vidyasagar says, "Not quite. We believe that a certain portion of STAR Plus' viewers will definitely like the Super Singer programme, but there will be others who may not like it so much. We finally felt that since Super Singer is a music talent show, it was logical to launch it on CHannel [v]."

"This is going to be one of the heavily promoted shows of STAR Network," says Vidyasagar. Industry sources estimate that the total promotional budget for the show will be anything between Rs 6-7 crore.

For the record, the first episode of the Samsung [v] Super Singer will be aired on Thursday at 9 pm on all five channels. And from the second episode onwards, the show will be aired only on CHannel [v] every Thursdays at 9 pm.

In the metros, the network has started a unique outdoor campaign, CHannel [v] Super Singer launch countdown. As per this campaign, a large digital clock has been put up at prominent locations around Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, which constantly displays the time left for the launch of the show. This apart, STAR has also initiated a bunch of on-ground events in metros to promote this show.

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© 2004 agencyfaqs!