In their first two weeks post-launch, 'BB Telugu' (10.3 billion minutes) and 'BB Tamil' (9.3 billion minutes) managed to fetch watch time of nearly 20 billion minutes, states BARC India data.
In 2019, Disney+ Hotstar, in its annual 'India Watch Report', shared that 'Bigg Boss Tamil' was the most-viewed entertainment show on the platform. The report added that the viewership was 1.5 times more than that of the top Hindi show 'Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai'. It is clear that the Kamal Haasan-anchored Tamil version of the British show 'Big Brother' is quite popular.
The 2020 Tamil and Telugu versions of 'Bigg Boss' (or 'BB') are currently on air. Star Vijay telecasts 'Bigg Boss Tamil', while Star Maa hosts Nagarjuna Akkineni-anchored 'Bigg Boss Telugu'.
According to Mumbai-based Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data, which was sourced by afaqs!, on the launch day itself, 'BB Telugu' recorded 2.7 billion viewing minutes in Andhra Pradesh, while 'BB Tamil' was viewed for 2.2 billion minutes in Tamil Nadu.
"In their respective first two weeks, 'BB Telugu' (10.3 billion minutes) and 'BB Tamil' (9.3 billion minutes) have managed to fetch watch time of nearly 20 billion minutes," states the data.
“We are thrilled with the response received for 'Bigg Boss' Tamil and Telugu in Tamil Nadu (TN) and Andhra Pradesh (AP)," says Kevin Vaz, CEO of regional entertainment, Star India.
The Tamil and Telugu versions of 'Bigg Boss' have even outperformed premier (top) shows in Hindi speaking markets. In fact, two out of every three people in AP and TN combined watched 'Bigg Boss' in the first two weeks post-launch.
The Hindi version of 'Bigg Boss', which is anchored by Bollywood star Salman Khan, is also currently on air. It is being televised by Viacom18's general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors.
All the desi versions of 'Bigg Boss' are produced by Endemol Shine India. According to sources, the Hindi 'BB' project cost would be around Rs 150 crore. Tamil and Telugu versions cost around Rs 35 crore each, excluding the fees paid to Haasan and Nagarjuna. 'BB' gives the channels at least 105 episodes to monetise.
For 'Bigg Boss Tamil', Star Vijay has roped in Dabur and Hamam as the title sponsors and Vasanth and Co. as the powered by sponsor. Nippon Paint, RKG Ghee, Prisma Legging, Preethi Zodiac, Udhayam Dhall and Levista Instant Coffee are the presenting sponsors.
Colgate and Dabur have jointly associated with Star Maa's 'BB Telugu' as the presenting sponsors. Oppo, Skandanshi and Wipro are the co-presenting sponsors, and GRB, Gitam and Pankaja Kasthuri are the powered by partners.
According to the broadcaster, 'BB Telugu' raked in 23 sponsors, while 'BB Tamil' has 20.
"The perception that only local brands buy slots on regional TV channels is not true anymore. Yes, the skew would be heavier towards local brands, in terms of the number of insertion. But for marquee properties, you will find national brands are only the prominent ones," says a media planning expert.
The expert says that as per her analysis, despite the post-COVID slowdown, both Tamil and Telugu versions of 'BB' will rake in profits for their respective channels.
"We strive to offer content that has a huge entertainment quotient and 'Bigg Boss' is exactly that. We are elated that the show is resonating well with our audiences,” concludes Vaz.