Prajjal Saha

STAR’s rivals pretend to ignore Bachchan’s charm on KBC 2

On the contrary, advertisers and media planners have already expressed their high hopes from this Big B-starrer

So what if advertisers and media planners have placed high stakes on the Amitabh Bachchan-hosted game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, which is all set to make a comeback on August 5, STAR Plus’ rival channels such as Sony, ZEE and SaharaOne are pretending that life’s as usual even in the KBC 2 era.

When agencyfaqs! spoke to the competing channels to find out their plans and strategies to combat the KBC magic, they deliberately ignored the effects of the game show, which once rewrote history for Indian television and changed the way television was watched in India.

Abhijit Saxena, Business Head, ZEE TV, said, “We have our own strategy in place which caters to the viewing habits and preferences of our viewers. We already have a variety of programmes from family drama, comedy, thrillers and game shows that are catering to the cross-section of society.”

Purnendu Bose, chief operating officer, SaharaOne, commented: “Television is all about appointment viewing. Why should we disrupt our regular FPC (fixed point chart) and disappoint our loyal viewers for a quiz show in any other channel?”

He adds, “Our weekend FPC is pure entertainment packed with multi-genre content catering to different viewers at different day-parts. For instance, we have ‘Bollywood Aur Kya’ for the teens in early evening, numerology based show ‘Bolein Ssitare’ in late night, blockbuster Hindi movies in the evening, or ‘Sizzling Saturday’ movies for the matured audience on Saturday nights.”

Meanwhile, Sony is aggressively promoting a special episode of its popular daily show, ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin’ scheduled for August 5. In this particular episode, the lead characters Jassi and Armaan are supposed to get married.

Tarun Katiyal, business head, Sony, clarifies that this strategy has nothing to do with KBC. He says, “This is a logical extension of the normal storyline, and it’s a sheer coincidence that the episode is on the same time slot with KBC 2.”

Senior media planners, on the contrary, have a different story to tell. Close watchers of the industry were almost unanimous on the fact that KBC 2 is not only tipped to be a money-spinner for STAR Plus, the Bachchan charm may even work wonders for ZEE and Sony, provided they have a strong programming line-up scheduled for the same time-band.

As Hiren Pandit, general manager, MindShare had told agencyfaqs! earlier, “I am expecting KBC 2 to reshuffle the television viewing habit during weekends. The show will not only garner viewership for STAR Plus, it will also be a boon in disguise for its rival channels.”

Amin Lakhani, director, CTG, Group M, had said that Sony and ZEE could get a chance to increase their advertising revenue with STAR Plus placing all its high cost shows in the prime time for the entire week. He had also warned, “For Sony and ZEE to garner viewership and revenue, the channels will have to have a strong marketing strategy and a stronger line-up of programmes.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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