Television

'KBC II' expected to rake in Rs 2.5 billion+ from ad sales

MUMBAI: The stakes are getting bigger and as summer sets in

with its full fury, the heat at Star House in Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi area too is increasing. The next 90 days at Rupert Murdoch’s Indian ops would, probably, be critical. A general restlessness at Star India apart, a pivotal Star Plus property gets unleashed on 5 August.

 
The all new KBC 2 Logo

Coming to Star’s game plan with KBC2, it would certainly take potshots at competition’s established time slots. Take, for example, Sony, which is quite stable on Fridays with good properties. KBC2's entry is sure going to upset the apple cart from Sony's viewpoint, if not completely upturn it. It may also redefine afresh how weekend programming is done.

 
 
 

As far as revenue is concerned, KBC2 (with a fixed 85-week run) is expected to rake in, as per market estimates, on an average, Rs 30 million in ad revenues per episode. The total cost for mounting KBC2 is approximately Rs 850 million, which includes acquisition and marketing costs as well as host and bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan’s remuneration. Theoretically speaking, if Rs 850 million is spread across 85 episodes, cost per episode comes to Rs 10 million. Hence, the total ad sales revenue generated solely from KBC2 could be pegged at Rs 2,550 million with actual profits standing somewhere around Rs 1,700 million.

There are also the ramp ups on distribution declarations that need to be factored into any revenue projections though. One would expect the KBC "pull effect" to have a significant positive impact on the network's declared subscriber base.

From an advertiser’s lookout, however, what KBC2 offers is a new opportunity. According to information available with Indiantelevision.com, Star has managed to rope in Nokia as an associate sponsor and the deal has been cracked at Rs 150 million. Airtel and BSNL have come on board as the SMS and landline phone partners, respectively, on a revenue sharing model.

In the weeks to come, Star will be roping in five more associate

sponsors – one from the automobile segment, two from the FMCG sector and one each from the white goods (the likely toss up is between LG and Samsung) and the two-wheeler categories.

That Star will put all its marketing muscle behind KBC2 goes without saying. What the public and the trade are waiting to see is just what the media and promo blitz will entail. Comparisons will no doubt be drawn to its predecessor KBC but that is only to be expected. According to a leading pink paper, Star's creative agency O&M has created 11 commercials around KBC2 all featuring the Big B.

It is also interesting to note that all these strategies would not have much bearing if advertisers are not willing to spend. Will advertisers increase ad spend because of KBC2 or divert funds from Star Plus?

Star seems to have figured this out up to a certain extent. Taking into account that existing advertisers don’t divert funds from their current programmes, a strategy could be to approach clients whose spends on the network is presently low. If one looks at the brands mentioned above, very clearly these clients have had a cricket skew.

Will KBC2 be to Star what Indian Idol was to Sony --- a short-lived euphoria? Or, will KBC2 actually move both the revenue and programming game plan into a next phase? Only time would answer such queries, but let’s not forget that KBC is a different ball game altogether. Unlike the international show, where the host was not such an attraction, while the concept was, the Indian version has got two hooks --- Bachchan’s ageless popularity and, of course, an increased prize money of Rs 20 million to be won.

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