Star ready to go head-to-head with Sony

MUMBAI: Its official now. Star has declared war on Sony Entertainment Television and the viewers will get ringside seats as the two channels fight it out over who will rule the weekend.

If Sony's honchos had any doubts about how their gameshow "Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke" hosted by the irrepressible Govinda was doing Star's response should put them at ease.

Star, which has enjoyed an amazing run since the launch in July of its hit gameshow "Kaun Banega Crorepati" hosted by Bollywood's Big B Amitabh Bachchan, seems to be feeling the heat of competition and is going all out to put a spoke in Sony's wheel.

Riding on the success of last Saturday's special episode in aid of victims of the Gujarat earthquake where cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and filmstar Madhuri Dixit Nene were invited, Star says it will have more such shows.

Star India CEO Peter Mukherjea, quoted in the Economic Times on Saturday, has said: "Yes, we intend hitting Sony head-on with more special KBC programmes. Sony is strong on weekends and we can’t let them occupy that space." Mukherjea said Star would not be reworking its normal 9 pm-10pm, Monday-to-Thursday schedule but is in the process of devising a strategy of extending KBC on weekends too with special events and celebrity shows. That is not all though. Star is also in the process of devising a strategy of increasing viewer interest in KBC on normal weekdays, which appears to be flagging.

Lucky draws for viewers and specials where couples will be allowed to participate form part of the strategy to pack them in again, Star's corporate communications head, Yash Khanna said.

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