Blame it on the universal charm of showbiz. The show, 'Koffee with Karan' may have been made for the upwardly mobile urban English speaking viewer - the typical TG for STAR World - but the programme is drawing in viewers from disparate socio-economic groups.
Simply put, viewers from Malabar Hill to Malgudi get glued to their TV sets when Karan Johar indulges in a tÍte-ŗ-tÍte with his star guests.
As per TAM figures (C&S, 15+, six metros), some of the episodes had an equal number of viewers from the SEC C, D and E as SEC A and B, the original TG. For instance, the Shahrukh Khan and Kajol episode had 43 per cent of the viewers from the lower socio-economic classes (SEC C, D and E). Similarly, this segment of viewers contributed to 53 per cent in the Aishwarya Rai-Sanjay Leela Bhansali episode. Even other episodes such as the ones featuring Rani Mukherjee-Kareena Kapoor and Sunny Deol-Bobby Deol had 24 per cent viewers coming in from lower SECs.
As Sandeep Tarkas, chief executive, Media Direction puts it, "Language has never been barrier when it comes to celebrity shows." He cites the example of the famous 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' on STAR Plus, which in spite of being in Hindi, was popular in the South Indian states.
Mona Jain, vice-president, media, Cheil Communications, further elaborates, "There is a segment of viewers in our country, who may not be able to speak English, but can certainly understand the language."
She points out that it's the format of the show which has made 'Koffee with Karan' so popular. She says, "It's very gossipy and fun to watch. People like to peep into celebrity bedrooms. In addition, the host Karan - who is equally popular among classes as well as masses - shares an excellent rapport with most of our guests. This makes the show different from other celebrity interviews."
With KOK being compared with KBC, an obvious point of reference is whether the programme can be the 'driver show' for STAR World just as KBC was for STAR Plus.
There's no doubt that the show has managed high TVRs as per the standards of an English general entertainment channel. As per TAM figures (C&S, SEC A&B, 15+, six metros), the Rani Mukherjee-Kareena Kapoor episode got a TVR of 0.91 and the channel share grew to 2.25 per cent across all channels. The Amitabh Bachchan-Abhishek Bachchan episode was also very popular, garnering a TVR of 0.76.
Nandini Dias, vice-president, Lodestar, says, "The numbers are quite impressive since STAR World is a niche channel. Another way to gauge the effectiveness of a programme is talking to consumers and finding out if they know what happened on the show the previous night. The response to KOK across target groups has been quite high."
She adds, "The programme certainly is getting a large number of viewers. But I'm afraid, the overall perception of the channel has not changed, nor has the profile of the channel."
Jain of Cheil Communication, says, "STAR won't be interested in broadening its audience base, or change its profile. What happened with KOK was certainly not intended. But this show can certainly help the channel become a leader in its genre and be high in consideration among media planners."
Tarkas of Media Direction feels, since KOK has been unsuccessful in spilling the viewers to other shows, it cannot be qualified as a 'driver show'. He adds, "What's important for the channel is to retain this viewership base and further build upon it, even when the show is taken off."
The STAR Network doesn't seem to be resting on its laurels either. It now plans to extend the show to STAR One.
Dias of Lodestar says, "It seems like a strategic move. Maybe the desire is to get a better return on investment on the programme. Or, to increase trials on STAR One. Either way, it seems like a good move."
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