"We've already taken the biggest risk there was. We took a season break when 'Naagin' was at the very top and have now returned with the second season of the show. No risk can get greater than that," says Ekta Kapoor, managing director, Balaji Telefilms, when we asked her about the second season of 'Naagin' and the risks involved. Well, it looks like the gamble paid off as the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India ratings for Week 41 show that Season 2 of the supernatural drama in its opening week emerged as the No.1 show in the Hindi GEC genre.
After Colors tasted success with'Naagin', the supernatural angle found a prime time presence in most other channels, and many used the snake formula as well. But, not many witnessed similar results. So, has the appetite for 'naagins' or supernatural content dried up?
"No," feels Manisha Sharma, programming head, Colors. "When we introduced 'Naagin', it was the first-of-its-kind show on television. And then, it became a trendsetter which opened up a world of opportunities for other broadcasters and production houses. Over the past couple of months, the genre has developed further, and today, there is space for a lot more shows to co-exist. We believe that there continues to be a strong and loyal audience which will tune in for 'Naagin 2' even though other shows with a supernatural angle continue to air. As a channel, we will continue to innovate and be the trendsetters in bringing variety through our shows," she says.
The show is not just for those who are loyal and have seen the first season, but will also cater to those who did not watch the first season, Sharma asserts, "A lot of people did not watch 'Naagin's' first season because they had their apprehensions about the concept. The buzz and intrigue associated with the show is universal, which guarantees that those who did not watch the show in its first season will want to follow it closely this season," she says.
'Naagin' had Chutki Mouth Freshener as the presenting sponsor from November-December, 2015, followed by Dabur Almond Hair Oil as the presenting sponsor for the period between January-February, 2016. Emami's Navratna Cool Talc followed Dabur Almond Hair Oil in March 2016, and stayed as the presenting sponsor until the end of the season. Ghadi Detergent associated with 'Naagin' as 'powered by' sponsors between February-March 2016. Season 2 started with Oppo Camera Phones as the presenting sponsors.
"For us, 'Naagin' has always been a premium show, so I am sure that the ad rates will also reflect the premium," opines Sharma.
The ad rates for a 10-second slot during the first season was close to Rs 1.5 lakh, while the per episode production cost was Rs 15 lakh. Both numbers will go up by at least 20 per cent as per expert estimation. It now remains to be seen if the weekend rating rulers manage to continue the start it has got.