If the number of calls logged by an interactive call-in show can be a benchmark of its success, SaharaOne's 'Dial One' has done it.
The new interactive call-in game show claims to have received around 41 lakh calls in the first week of its launch.
The calls were received at the Sahara Group's call centre in Lucknow, which has been built with the help of Reliance Infocomm.
On the first day, the show received around 3.5 lakh calls, which went up to 10 lakh calls in the second day. In the third and the fourth day, the show logged 14 lakh-plus calls in each of the days.
Unfortunately, the number of calls do not automatically guarantee a high viewership for the channel. LS Krishnan, general manager, Broadmind, a division of Group M, explains, "The 41 lakhs figure that SaharaOne is touting accounts for 10 per cent of the C&S population. So, if the figure is authenticated, it is certainly an achievement for the channel. At the same time, I am doubtful about the percentage of these respondents, who will actually watch the show."
Other industry sources say, the interest among the viewers is generally high in the initial weeks. The real challenge for the channel would be to retain this interest.
Kalyan Sundaram, head of non-fiction programming, SaharaOne, is confident of future prospects. He says, "We will introduce more exciting and big-money prizes to retain this interest level."
At present, the show has prizes like a trip to Goa, or a Sansui music system. In terms of value, the winners of the first round get prizes worth Rs 5,000, while the winners of the second and third rounds get prizes worth Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
Sundaram says, the show in future episodes will have prizes worth a couple of lakhs. The channel is in talks with different advertisers to sponsor these prizes.
The show is presently hosted by Mandira Bedi. To add more spice to the programme, the channel is planning to bring in some big-time celebrities from tinseltown as guests.
This will happen after the show gets extended to Fridays as an one-hour episode from the first week of March. Considering the clout Sahara has with the Indian film industry, the channel shouldn't be facing too many problems with the stars of Bollywood.
Sundaram says, "It's not only for the prizes, viewers even call up to get a chance to speak to their favourite stars."
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