Will KBC 8 sustain high numbers?

MUMBAI: The Indian adaptation of the original format, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, catapulted Star Plus’ popularity when it was launched in 2000 as part of the channel’s revamp, later after exchanging hands, it boosted Sony’s viewership and since then has worked its magic.

After 13 years, two channels, seven seasons, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) has come a long way.

It has been a tedious task to entertain people season after season and though the show started off like a rocket, it did have to face a few hurdles. The show couldn’t garner enough ratings as expected, season after season.

Nonetheless, produced by Big Synergy, once again climbed the upward trend in its eighth season, raking in viewership of 8.96 million TVTs for its grand premiere episode. The average weekday viewership of the show was 5.2 million TVTs in its first week.

This was the highest rated show in the week under consideration (17-23 August 2014), across channels. Moreover, it outdid other top shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum (Star Plus), Jodha Akbar and Kumkum Bhagya on Zee TV. It also helped the channel to move from its number sixth position to be number four in the TAM TV ratings.

According to media planners what worked wonders for the show was its social connect with the audiences. Woven around the thought of 'yahan sirf paise nahi Dil bhi jeete jaate hain', the TVCs garnered many accolades.

Planners believe that through its new theme, KBC is going back to the roots. “This season, it has had a very strong social connect. They are bringing up a lot of social issues and women empowerment issues in the programme and that has caught people’s attention,” asserts Maxus managing partner north and east region Navin Khemka. Khemka further goes on to say that this time the social issues it is highlighting are topical and well told.

The three TVCs were launched in July, 'Kohima' was followed by the 'Hindu-Muslim' and 'Community’, received positive responses from the industry pundits as well as viewers. The channel had bought around 10,000 ad spots in over 45 TV channels, including the MSM network channels.

Moreover, it was also promoted in 15 cities through 2,000 OOH sites in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and selected ones in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

On the digital front also, it was active than before. It launched an app called KBC Play Along, by which a viewer could play the game on his mobile and stand a chance to meet Bachchan on the sets. Taking the marketing efforts a notch up, it had also done a 100-city-on-ground activity.

Media planners believe that, though the channel saw a good opening response, a lot of KBC ratings was dependent on the social impact and celebrities it got hold on to appear on it. “Celebrity episodes drive the viewership. In the coming weeks, because it is the festival time, a lot of new shows will get launched. So if they are able to get good celebrities and good content, they should be able to hold on to the ratings,” says another media analyst.

This season also saw re-invention of KBC. The grand premiere of the Bachchan-helmed show was shot in Surat with a live audience of around 7,000 people. The evening’s proceedings included comedy acts by Kapil Sharma, the anchor of Colors’ Comedy Nights with Kapil, song and dance sequences and Bachchan’s interactions with the live audience.

Cadbury remains the presenting sponsor while Idea continues to be the 'powered by' sponsor. Samsung, Maruti Suzuki, TVS, and Cisca LED are the associate sponsors.

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