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KBC delivers record debut TVR, advertisers pleased

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MUMBAI: Well, well, we predicted that it would be a runaway hit for Sony Entertainment Television (Set). And sure it has. The Amitabh Bachchan hosted Kaun Baega Crorepati premiered on 7 September and as per TAM data (C&S 4+) provided by the channels, it registered a whopping 6.1 TVR and had an average reach of 19 per cent.

Those numbers are the best registered by any first episode of a non-fiction show on a Hindi GEC since the start of 2012. The great performance has also rocketed Set to its highest GRP reportcard in 2012 with the number at 244.

The gambit by the Set management to take KBC to the weekend spot from last season’s weekday worked very well for the show. During the previous season when it aired during weekdays, the debut episode had scored 5.24 TVR. What also helped it achieve those numbers was the fact that it had no commercial breaks in the first hour of its two hour telecast.

According to a statement by Set, KBC was viewed by over ­­­­29 million viewers across the country. What’s even more pleasing for Set is the numbers it generated in SEC A and B homes: its TVRs with those audiences were 7.7 and 8.3 respectively. Obviously, the well heeled and educated have really taken a shining for KBC.

Says Set senior EVP & business head Sneha Rajani, “KBC 2012 has had a record breaking opening and has seen the highest opening this year across all shows on GECs breaking all previous records. We were confident that viewers would really enjoy watching this season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The numbers more than corroborate this. We are really pleased with the opening week results and there is a lot more to look forward to on the show in the days to come. Overall we are delighted at the performance of all our shows and over the next 4 to 5 weeks we aim to further consolidate our position.”

KBC’s TVRs met the expectations media outfit MEC which had only last week predicted that the show would generate a 5.4 TVR during its opening weekend. It had made this call based on the extensive promotion Set had undertaken across channels and media; the extensive buzz that the show had generated, and the higher base channel share of Set compared to last year.

Sponsors and media planners and buyers of course are pleased as punch. Take Cadbury which is the presenting sponsor of KBC which is handled by Madison Pinnacle. According to Pinnacle COO Dnyanada Chaudhari what worked for KBC in its previous season was the in-built inherent drama of the underdog winning and the aura of a superstar host who connects audiences in a real sense. Says she, “Sony has retained the real life makeover in the storyline and reinforced the age old Indian belief in the power of knowledge. The challenge in a quiz show in long format is that it can easily get boring; the channel has consciously added auditions to extract elements of entertainment to sustain engagement.”

“Last year, KBC was the one show that catapulted Sony into market leadership and was successfully used by the channel as a funnel to build their new primetime shows. These new soaps have long sustained on their own steam. It would jeopardize current loyal audiences, if the channel were to launch KBC on weekday. The initial viewership numbers are as good as prime time soaps. We hope that the programme leverages and builds enough anticipation for the Rs 5 crore milestone to sustain viewership on weekends. The opportunity for KBC is the possibility of strengthening Sony’s presence in no man’s land – its weekends. And more important, is whether KBC will redefine audience loyalties on weekends in the long run,” Chaudhari adds.

Mindshare principal partner - client leadership Anita Kotwani said that the promotional campaign carved out by Sony ensured that everyone eagerly awaited KBC’s launch episode. “A personality like AB has a huge following and the entire promotional nuances touched the masses emotionally getting them charged up to watch the show. Scheduling it on the week end has definitely added to the numbers, and its appeal seems to cut across SEC groups. My sense is that the show will have a good run in terms of ratings. Sony will ensure that KBC’s steam does not run out and its team will go all out to ensure that it sizzles enough to keep the ratings going.”

KBC associate sponsor Axis Bank CMO Manisha Lath Gupta is all smiles about its decision to partner the show, “Last year KBC had  averaged something around 5 TVR and that’s what we had kept in mind before doing the deal again. We are happy with the opening ratings of the show and also with the brand integration that has been giving us good visibility.”

For the record, KBC’s second episode which aired on 8 September (a Saturday) saw its average reach shift a little southward to 16.2 per cent and the TVR to 5.3. We will have to wait for next week’s ratings release to find out how it fared in episode 3 when contestant Manoj Kumar Raina pocketed Rs 1 crore.

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