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Tamil millionaire quiz show to debut today on Sun TV

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Another millionaire quiz game show is to make its debut on 11 November. Koteeswaran is, however, a show with a difference: it is the first time that a game show with a prize of Rs 10 million is appearing in a regional Indian language - in Tamil on the Sun TV network.

Sun TV took the precaution of launching a game show when Star TV and Who wants to be a millionaire? rights owner Celador made threatening noises that they would launch several regional language versions of it for Indian language channels. In the process, the network also gained a first mover advantage over Zee TV's regional language bouquet should it choose to start a game show for its Kannada or Malayalam channels.

The prize money is on a par with Star Plus' Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show is hosted by Tamil actor R. Sarath Kumar, and will air on Saturday and Sunday evenings. There are 14 questions. Prize money starts at Rs 2,000 and goes up to 10 million rupees.

Sun TV managing director Kalanithi Maran has kept aside a prize budget of Rs 100 million in year one and expects to spend Rs 300 million on the show. The sets have been designed at a cost of Rs 4.5 million by three times national award winner Thota Tharini.

Koteeswaran will launch in Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu languages on the Sun TV network's channels Udaya, Gemini and Surya TV in the not too distant future.

Every participant has to pass through three zones. In the first zone (three questions) the participant has two choices to choose the right answer for every question. Each question in the second zone (five questions) has three options and in the third zone (six questions) each question has four options.

Participants cannot take recourse to lifelines as there are none available. But they can have something called Koteeswaran charm, which helps in removing some of the wrong options. They can either use it once each in the second and third round or use it twice in the third round.

In the second zone, the participant has to choose the wrong answer.

The show is produced/marketed by a joint venture set up ETC's Yogesh Radhakrishnan and Suresh Aiyer of Multichannel. Ad rates are at Rs 30,000 for 10 seconds, the highest managed by Sun TV so far.

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