However, the channel does not aim to break even in the first season.
Kaun Banega Crorepati, currently on air on ETV Marathi (christened Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati - KHMC) is still getting higher revenues for channels. The Marathi version, the seventh one in India, has extended the magic of its earlier versions for the hosting channels - Hindi (Star Plus and now on Sony), Bhojpuri (Mahua TV), Bengali (Mahua Bangla), Kannada (Suvarna), Tamil (Star Vijay) and Malayalam (Asianet).
The show is expected to attract revenues of close to Rs 12 crore in about 60-80 episodes of the season. The channel has tied up with New Fair and Lovely for title sponsorship, earning about Rs 4.5-4.7 crore. The powered by sponsor is the telecom brand Idea, which is known to have shelled out about Rs 2 crore. Though the channel refused to confirm any of these details, it was also learnt that there are four associate sponsors attached to the property, each spending close to a crore or more for the partnership.
Though Phalke chose to remain silent about the exact details, planners suggest that the spot buys are being offered at the rate of Rs 22,000-26,000 per 10-second slot. It is learnt that the channel charges about Rs 10,000 for each 10-second slot in other programmes.
Planners and buyers inform that advertisers pay the premium price since it is a high impact property. The show went on air on May, 6 and runs at 9 pm, Monday to Thursday.
It may be noted that the cost of production of the show was very high in the Hindi version. Also, the most important part of the format is the set and the celebrity. When asked how the channel managed to deal with it, being a regional player, Anuj Poddar, executive vice-president and business head, regional channels, Viacom18 in partenership with ETV, says, "The same set as that of the Hindi language show is being used for KHMC. No compromises are being made on the quality of the show, even if the costs are lower."
He suggests that a bulk cost-cutting has been done on the back-end, including auditions conducted only in Maharashtra, lower license fees compared to the Hindi version; and lower celebrity costs, amongst others. The Marathi edition of the show is being hosted by Sachin Khedekar. Phalke agrees that Khedekar's presence in the Hindi cinema space is also an important reason for choosing the star.
To promote the show, the channel has launched mobile vans for virtual game plays across Maharashtra. Poddar states that it is a high impact reach builder property for the channel, as also for the genre, and is expected to pull a lot of viewership.
For the record, ETV Kannada recently acquired another big ticket non-fiction property, Bigg Boss for the Kannada audience. Poddar affirms that the Network18 acquisition of the ETV channels has given a strong support to the latter.