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ETV Marathi's Crorepati eyes double bonanza in Season II

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MUMBAI: Viacom 18 took its first bold step in the regional space after acquiring a clutch of ETV channels by introducing one of India’s biggest and boldest non-fiction shows on its Marathi channel. Thus, Kaun Banega Crorepati became Kon Hoeel Marathi Crorepati on ETV Marathi. Now back for a second run, just four months after the last season ended, the channel is looking at increasing its cash inflow as well as eyeballs from the flagship show.

The second season will see Sachin Khedekar back as host but facing not one, but two contestants as the theme this year is about couples or jodis. The prize money has also been doubled to Rs 2 crore. “The dynamic of two people changes a lot of things. These two people may be anyone in a family,” says BIG Synergy MD Siddhartha Basu.

A huge marketing campaign had rolled out on TV and radio about four weeks ago emphasising on the number ‘two’ that is the theme. 

The print campaign will strike on 13 January, the day the show launches. A digital app is expected to roll out soon after the launch of the show that will try to engage the younger audiences through social media. With the response it received from season 1, this time the channel has gone overboard on its marketing, spending nearly about Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore.

Airing on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm, it will replace two shows on these two days, which will now air four times a week. The current season is expected to run for three months with 36 episodes in all. According to sources, the cost of production is approximately Rs 8-10 crore for season two.

The studio set up was created in Film City in December and six episodes have been shot so far with average shoot hours daily totting up to 12 hours.

Last season, KHMC garnered about 3 TRPs and this time the channel is looking at starting off at that and doubling it amongst Marathi speaking audiences.  “It is worthy to say that nonfiction shows don’t really get such high ratings in languages,” says Viacom 18 EVP and business head Anuj Poddar. Last year KHMC doubled the channel’s overall ratings.

Conversations are on with a slew of advertisers and sponsors, with Lever brand Clinic plus already coming on board as the presenting sponsor and the target is to reach about five to six advertisers, this time. The average per 10 second rate for commercials has been pegged at Rs 70,000 that is about 60 to 70 per cent higher than last year.

Although only Marathi speaking people are allowed to participate in the show, it has seen a 50 per cent increase in the participants claims the channel.

“The show is a very generous one. Our average pay out per episode is about Rs 6.5 lakh," says Basu. “With growing viewership not just broadcasters but also advertisers and sponsors are also putting their money into such formats. A broadcaster takes it as a game changer and it is a huge investment for him as well.”

The targets it has set for itself are high but will the channel be able to live up to its own as well as the people’s expectations? We will soon find out as it launches this Monday.

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