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Colors Kannada to ramp up programming with ‘Bigg Boss’ & 3 new fiction shows

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MUMBAI: Taking its entertainment quotient several notches higher, Viacom18’s regional channel Colors Kannada is all set to launch as many as four new shows. 

Come 25 October and the Kannada version of Bigg Boss will go on air. Additionally, the channel is also ready to regale its audience with three new fiction shows in November.

The third season of Bigg Boss will hit screens from 25 October and will be aired from Monday to Friday in the 9 - 10 pm prime time slot. On weekends, the show will be aired from 9 - 10:30 pm.

On the fiction front, Colors Kannada will be launching a show titled Kinari, based on a mother - daughter relationship on 2 November at 6 pm.

The second fiction show titled Gandhari will launch on 23 November in the 10:30 pm band. The story is about a man who aspired to become a pilot but unfortunately loses his eyesight. He then lives his dreams through his wife.

The third, as yet untitled show, will also be launched on 23 November.

While the first season of Bigg Boss aired on Colors Kannada, the second season was aired on Star India’s Kannada general entertainment channel (GEC) Suvarna TV. Now in its third season, the Kannada Bigg Boss is back on Colors Kannada and will be hosted by Karnataka actor Kichcha Sudeep.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Viacom 18 EVP and project head of regional channels Ravish Kumar said, “Two years ago we broughtBigg Boss in Kannada for the first time and it did brilliantly. We are excited to bring it back. The Bigg Boss format is such that the moment you put 14-15 people in a house, people get a totally different scene because it’s a pure reality show and nobody can predict that what is going to happen next.”

While in its previous two seasons, the Kannada Bigg Boss was shot on the same sets as the Hindi version of the show in Lonavala. However, since the ninth season of the Hindi Bigg Boss on Colors is also currently underway, this is the first time that a separate house has been built in Bangalore for the Kannada version.

To promote the show across platforms, Colors Kannada has adopted a 360 degree marketing approach. Talking about the same, Kumar said, “We are spending a lot on marketing. Promotions are across the print, radio and outdoor mediums. Apart from this, we are also doing cross channel promotions. More than a thousand promos are being airing on our own channels, which is the single largest platform in that market.”

Kumar also informed that the channel has also advertised the show on trains and railway platforms. Additionally, the show will have a big presence at the Dusshera Mela, which has a footfall of 10,000 -15,000 per day. “We are also doing cross-promotions on shows whereBigg Boss is being talked about,” he added.

Colors Kannada has roped in OLX as the presenting sponsor of Bigg Boss season 3. On the other hand, Gemini Cooking Oil and Eastern Masala have come on board as the co-powered by sponsors, whereas Vini Cosmetics is one of the associate sponsors of the show.

“From the advertiser and sponsor perspective, Bigg Boss is the biggest property in the Kannada region so far. There are numerous opportunities for brand integration over a period of 100 days. No other show in this country allows this kind of exposure to brands. We have a very good mix of national and regional advertisers. Before we go live, we will have three or four more sponsors on board,” Viacom 18 regional regional channles sales head Bikash Kundu tells Indiantelevision.com.

The format of the reality show is such that a lot of effort goes into the actual logistics. Talking about the show’s per-episode expenditure, Kumar said, “So far, this is the most expensive non-fiction format that the Kannada market has ever seen. No one has even come closer because on a per day basis, it is way higher than any other show. The cost is anywhere close to three - five times the cost of the non-fiction shows.”

When it comes to ratings, Colors Kannada has been leading the genre as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data. “Our content strategy is simple - to give the best to people in both fiction and non-fiction series. We also do movie premiers and buy them optimistically depending on the price. In short, we try to be a complete channel for our viewers,” he said.

In the non-fiction space, in addition to Bigg Boss, the channel also has other international formats in Kannada like Super Minute(adaptation of Minute To Minute) and Dancing Stars (adaptation of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa). “This year we also did Dancing Junior Star andIndian Reality Show, which had 14 young boys and girls travelling through seven different states of India,” Kumar said.

While initially, the channel’s strategy was to take Colors’ top shows like Balika Vadhu and Madhubhala and adapt them for the Kannada market, now it has in its kitty, a slew of original fiction shows like Puttagowri Maduve, Lakshmi Baramma, Maja Talkies and Akka.

“In our three years’ journey, we have launched more than 25 – 30 shows. Hence, we have a very strong success rate,” Kumar said.

Sharing his views on BARC rolling out the rural data, Kundu added, “I think with BARC rolling out rural data, regional channels are likely to benefit. Having said that, we are number one in Karnataka and the kind of rates and growth that we have in revenues, has been phenomenal. So yes, we are positive and confident that with this initiative, the rates will go up.”

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