Will the refurbished Khullja Sim-Sim do to STAR Plus what a certain Kaun Banega Crorepati did some time back? It is early to hazard a guess but preliminary indications are promising. Fridays, long considered dull from the perspective of general entertainment channels such as STAR Plus, has of late started receiving generous viewer support.
After Khullja Sim-Sim (which literally means a bonanza) got a TVR of 5.3 on its debut on November 19, even existing shows in the Friday line-up are managing better TVRs. For instance, Karma which has been rescheduled at 8 pm got a TVR of 4.4 on November 19 in comparison to 3.3 on November 12, when the serial was slotted at 10.30 pm (Source: TAM, C&S, 4+, Hindi speaking markets).
Similarly, Sonpari's TVR went up to 2.6 on November 19 from 1.8 on November 12, after it was rescheduled at 7.30 pm from the 8 pm slot. Another programme Shararat, which was also rescheduled at 9 pm on November 19 from its earlier slot of 9.30 pm saw a great jump in TVRs. On November 19, Shararat got a TVR 6.7; its TVR on November 12 was only 4.3. Kalcchakra, which also went on air on November 19, got a TVR of 2.3.
It seems the STAR Plus strategy of revamping its entire Friday prime time (7.30 pm to 11.30 pm) programming is working for the channel.
The revamping of programming line-up is also helping the channel gain in terms of market share. On November 12, STAR Plus' channel share during prime time was 15.5 per cent. This went up to 18.3 per cent on November 19.
Citing the reason behind this viewership growth, Kevin Vaaz, executive vice-president, advertising sales, STAR India, says "Khulja Sim-Sim has been one of the successful game shows on STAR Plus after Kaun Banega Crorepati. Even prior to the relaunch of the show, there was enough buzz around it. So, the programme was not only successful; in garnering a substantial viewership, it was also instrumental in creating viewership for other shows."
Vaaz adds, not only has been the programme successful in maintaining viewership even after the show, it is also drawing viewers to Karma and Shararat, which are scheduled before the game show.
An enthused Vaaz comments: "We always had a high prime time viewership between Mondays and Thursdays. Now, we can claim to be strong even on Fridays."
The channel is hopeful that this trend of viewership growth will continue in the forthcoming weeks.
Vaaz says, "Even in the previous innings of Khullja Sim-Sim, it was observed that the viewership kept on increasing with newer episodes. Now that the show has come after a break with a bigger image, we are confident that the show will garner better TVRs in the forthcoming episodes and the viewership increase will not be less than 30-40 per cent. "
By "bigger image" Vaaz is referring to the grand prizes that the show has now. While in the last innings, a bumper prize would generally be a Maruti 800, or a Maruti Alto, this time, the show has a Mercedez Benz car as the bumper prize. And this mega prize is being flashed around through on-ground activities.
STAR India recently took around a convoy of cars with the Mercedes Benz flashing the message - "If you want to win this car, participate in Khullja Sim-Sim."
Talking about the marketing initiatives for Khullja Sim Sim, Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice-president marketing and communication, STAR India, says, "The equity for Khullja Sim-Sim was already very strong. All we needed to create is a buzz around the fact that the show has now become bigger."
Khullja Sim-Sim is also moving to different cities around the country like Delhi and Pune, apart from Mumbai. Very soon, auditions will begin in five more cities.
Regarding the advertising potential, Vaaz says, "With a strong line-up on Fridays, we will be able to ask for a premium price now from advertisers, as we do it between Mondays and Thursdays. Specifically for Khullja Sim-Sim, we hope to get more of male oriented products and advertisers as men generally show a great interest in game shows."
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