Prachi Srivastava

Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5

The show is slated to kick off on December 27. It will air every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm, for an hour.

Zee TV is bringing back its flagship singing reality property Sa Re Ga Ma Pa's kids' edition, 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs, in its fifth season.

Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5
Starting December 27, the show will air every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm. The show is returning on the channel after a gap of over three years. As compared to the previous season which aired for around 18-20 weeks, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs will air for 13 weeks this season.

The channel has announced the launch of the show close on the heels of unveiling its new brand philosophy 'Har Lamha, Nayi Umeed' that captures the beauty of re-discovering a new ray of hope with every moment of life.

New Tunes

According to Pradeep Hejmadi, business head, Zee TV shares that Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has always stood for inspiring people and that is one of the biggest reasons of bringing it back to television. "When it comes to singing reality, the key thing is the quality of talent but the audience sees a very different kind of gratification in watching this show."

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa season 5 will feature 12 distinct voices from amongst India's youngest talents. Each child learns or knows a different style of singing and takes inspiration from people who have got name and fame through those styles. For instance, there is an eleven years old girl, Antara Sarkar from Kolkata who learns Rabindra Sangeet and idolises Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale.

The season will witness mentors, Shaan and Monali Thakur, who come on board as 'Captains', groom each child as their singing talent will be honed in a very different manner so as to let them bloom to his or her fullest potential. The two mentors will try and understand each child's strengths and areas of improvement and coach them on fine-tuning their skills.

Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5
Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5
Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5
Zee TV hikes ad rates for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs 5

In its fifth season, the show will see a boys versus girls format that aims to create a spirited atmoshphere of camaraderie and fun. Shaan will be the captain of the boys' team while Thakur will don the hat of the captain of the girls' team. They will even evaluate the performances of these contestants.

Talking about the idea behind the girls versus boys format, Hejmadi adds, "Each of these voices is different. Boys have a different scale and the emotional chord they hit is different as compared to girls. When the boys and girls play out together, not only there is an interesting sense of competition that pans out, it also widens the opportunities for the singers. For instance, a duet gives a much wider canvas to play with."

Alka Yagnik, who has been a mentor across previous seasons of the show, will be seated as the 'Mahaguru' this season. The show will be hosted by Aditya Narayan.

Namit Sharma, programming head, Zee TV, says, "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is amongst Indian television's very first few talent-based reality shows with a legacy of singing talent that it has built over almost two decades. It is a definitive platform for aspiring singers and has significantly contributed to the country's culture and music scene. From attracting some of the biggest names of the music fraternity as judges to nurturing some of the finest budding talent in the country, the platform has only grown with each successive season."

Zee Music Company will partner with the channel in terms of co-creating and promoting exclusive music content with the Li'l champs. In addition they will also help in the grooming process by engaging with musical icons and enabling the Lil Champs to interact with them.

New Rates

Ashish Sehgal, chief sales officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises told afaqs! that the channel is asking for ad rate which is 50 per cent higher than the last season. "The last season was aired in 2011 and it aired for a longer duration, not only in terms of number of episodes but also minutes per episode. Last season aired for around 90 minutes, while this one will air for around 60 minutes. So, if the number of weeks it's going to air for is slashing to 13 weeks, the inventories will decrease. We will hence have to take corrective measure to make sure that the ad revenue target of the show doesn't suffer. We are bullish about the performance of the show."

The channel is still in talks with the advertisers. Sehgal indicated that many advertisers are wanting to come back on the show, but the deals have not being signed yet. Zee TV is looking at getting eights sponsors on board for the show, including six associate sponsors and two title sponsors (presenting and powered by).

"The channel is getting back the show after three years. It's performance will depend on the format of the show and the quality of the judges. In recent years, singing reality show has been struggling to connect with audiences. So, it will be a challenge to ingrain the property again after this gap. Having said that, since it's a kids special, emotional connect can trigger family viewing," says Dhirendra Singh, head, Planning - AVP, BPN.