Raushni Bhagia

Vijay TV brings KBC Tamil Season 2 with Prakash Raj

Though the channel remains tight-lipped on the financial details, it is learnt that revenues of over Rs 50 crore are expected from the new season, while the channel plans to spend close to 10 per cent of this amount to market the show.

The Tamil version of Kaun Banega Crorepati, Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi (NVOK)'s second season is all set to hit the screens with a new anchor on Vijay TV in March. Vijay TV, a Tamil general entertainment channel from the STAR India stable, Vijay TV will play the same game on the same weekday primetime slot, Monday through Thursday, 8 pm to 9.30 pm.

Vijay TV brings KBC Tamil Season 2 with Prakash Raj
Vijay TV brings KBC Tamil Season 2 with Prakash Raj
The channel has decided to keep the same format since it believes that 'the format is universal and simple to follow'. K Sriram, general manager, Vijaya TV mentions that the localisation of the show happens by default as the anchor of the show appeals to the native local audiences. The first season of the show featured Tamil movie star Surya as the anchor, while for this season, the channel has taken on-board Prakash Raj (who shot to fame even in the non-South markets after his negative role in Singham). This also marks the actor's debut on television.

Sriram says, "Prakash Raj's popularity with his Bollywood performances means he will be well received and will have a large audience base."

Marketers are largely positive about the change of the host in the show. R S Suriyanarayan, AVP, Initiative Media, says, "For a show like NVOK, Prakash Raj definitely has that aura around him that is required for the show. Also, being in the industry for close to 15 years has given him enough connect with the audiences. Though he was quite known for his negative roles, he has of late done many character-based movies."

It may be noted that during the launch of the first season, Surya had got a series of blockbusters and hence became the obvious choice for the channel. However, now, the marketers suspect that the channel could be trying to test waters with a more matured face.

Vijay TV brings KBC Tamil Season 2 with Prakash Raj
"While Surya is a quick hit with the 15+ audience sets, Raj will bring on-board the earlier group along with the relatively older lot (read 25+). This is more like drawing parallel to the Hindi version of the show (wherein initially, Amitabh Bachchan was preferred over Salman Khan or Shahrukh Khan)," mentions a senior media planner of the southern market.

Compare this to other remakes of the show in Kerala and Karnataka, where the actors who hosted the show in these markets (Puneeth Rajkumar and Suresh Gopi, respectively), weren't very good at blockbusters but they did fairly well for the respective channels.

R Sridhar, CEO, Brand-comm, mentions that Raj is a very highly rated actor. "He is very popular amongst all the southern states. I believe he should be able to cut across ages," he asserts.

The first season of the show garnered an average of 4.4 TVRs (SEC ABC, 4+, TN). As for the viewership and time slot for the current season, Suriyanarayan states that the overall viewership in the state is getting fragmented gradually. It is increasing for other genres, though over 80-85 per cent of the audience are still inclined towards Tamil content.

Sun TV is the leader on the 8 pm-9.30 pm slot, and will be the chief competitor for NVOK. A few media planners believe that the slot is largely driven by fiction shows, and more by Sun TV content. Thus, it will be really tough for Vijay TV to pull off the show if it isn't an instant hit. A few others, however, reason that there isn't any war between the two channels as the two 'types of content' have different sets of viewers.

As for the revenues, although the channel remains tight-lipped on financial details, it mentions that the expectations are higher than the previous season. However, sources inform that it is eyeing more than Rs 50 crore from the 20-week show.

Sunfeast, an ITC brand that has come on-board as a title sponsor for the show, is said to have spent Rs 6-7 crore for the association, with about 120 seconds of FCT per episode. The channel has also got four associate sponsors in Jos Alukaas, Tata Docomo, Arun Excello and MIOT Hospital, each having shelled out an estimated Rs 3-4 crore to partner with the show. The associates are offered about 60 seconds of FCT per episode.

A quick calculation reveals that there will be about 1100 FCTs left to be sold on spot-buys. As per the market rates, a channel like Vijay TV sells primetime 10-second slots at about Rs 14,000-16,000 thousand.

The channel, it is learnt, plans to spend about 10 per cent of the revenue to market the show. A source in the channel explains, "For any normal show, the marketing spends are 5 per cent of the expected revenues from that show. However, NVOK is a very big property for us and hence the marketing spends will be escalated to 10 per cent of the revenue."

The marketing activity for the second season of NVOK is spread all over Tamil Nadu. The '4321' campaign ('4 3 2 1' which refers to 4 options, 3 lifelines, 2 you and me, 1 crore) will be extended to TV, radio, print and outdoor extensively between mid-February and March. Along with advertisements on all network channels, there are partnerships with a few news channels outside the network for 12-16 spots per day. The outdoor activity is spread across the state through bus shelters, bus backs, mall activity, branding on trains, road shows and billboards. The channel is also promoting the show through The Hindu ( an English daily), Dinathanthi (a Tamil daily), Ananda Vikatan (a Tamil weekly), Radio Mirchi, Hello FM, Kumudham (a Tamil weekly) and Dinamalar (a Tamil daily).

Auditions for NVOK were held at Coimbatore, Tiruchirapally and Chennai, and contestants who correctly answered simple questions in the preliminary tests were chosen to participate in the initial episodes of the show. There are many contests for viewers, who can answer them while watching the show on Vijay TV and win prizes.

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