25 Nov. episode of 'Indian Idol' garners 1 million+ votes

MUMBAI: One month since Indian Idol's launch, Sony seems to enjoying not only a rise in viewership but also the benefits of an alternate revenue stream (via SMSs).

Idols claims to have received 555,884 phone calls and 590,206 sms votes in just three and a half hours after the telecast of their show on Thursday (25 November).

The first episode received over 420,000 votes polled in just 2 ½ hours. The channel, on seeing the response, in tandem with the telecom operators increased their bandwidth and the voting window was increased to 3 ½ hours. The resultant call volume hence has seen a close to three fold increase with 1.14 million votes being cast for Thursday's episode.

Speaking to, Sony executive vice president programming and response Tarun Katial says, "This has been an unprecedented response witnessed for the first time. This can only be attributed to the high involvement and real emotion that the show evokes."

Katial also pointed out that very surprisingly 40 per cent of the votes tilted to one side, and although the judges prediction of the three candidates came through, one other was also voted in by the viewers reinforcing the levels of interaction that the show was commanding.

SET executive vice president Sunil Lulla explained, "There have been a number of SMS initiatives that have taken place earlier, but none have thrown up such a response."

Apparently, Jassi.. Received 250,000 votes and on average for any show SMS's varied in the range of 10,000 to 60,000.

Talking to Lulla on the competition latest effort Super Singer which debuts on 2 December at 9 pm, half hour beforeIndian Idol, and its first episode to be aired across the network, he said that SET as a platform was much bigger than Channel [V] and the voting response has further shown the co-relation between the viewers and the interactivity level of the show.

Even as Idol goes from strength to strength, lead network Star has its own talent hunt ready to roll. Channel [V]'s Super Singer debuts on 2 December at 9 pm, (not so coincidentally?) half an hour before Idol. Additionally, the first episode of Super Singer is being provided that extra push by being provided airplay across the network.

How the talent hunts on the two rival networks face off should make for interesting viewing.

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