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Suvarna sets high hopes with Bigg Boss Kannada 2

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BENGALURU: A few weeks ago, Indiantelevision.com had reported that Star Network’s Kannada general entertainment channel (GEC) Suvarna has bagged the rights of the second season of Bigg Boss Kannada (BBK) from ETV Kannada.

And the channel is all set to start airing the 100 episode daily show starting 29 June hosted by Kannada actor Sudeep again.

To keep the mystery alive, Suvarna claims that the names of the 14 contestants have been kept under wraps with the winner taking home a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh. Suvarna business head Anup Chandrasekharan says, "We have always brought in different and exciting content for our audience and we are delighted to bring to your screens yet another thrilling series. Bigg Boss Kannada promises to be an electrifying season in its second innings.”

A key differentiator between the Kannada and Hindi editions is the set at Lonavala which is simpler and has fewer cameras (35 maximum).  

Produced by Endemol India, BBK 2 is an hour long episode to be aired between 8 to 9 pm will see a three hour long premiere, inform sources at the channel.

Endemol India COO Abhishek Rege adds, “Bigg Boss has captured the attention of Indian audiences all over! With a legacy of record breaking TRPs it has truly gained momentum on both national and regional television with the continuing success Bigg Boss Hindi and fantastic response received by Bigg Boss Kannada season 1.”

The channel has roped in OLX.in as the title sponsor, CERA as the powered by sponsor, Dollar Bigg Boss as associate sponsor and many more are lined up. The channel says that it is selling ad spots at a 200 per cent premium. Chandrasekharan says that he is looking at a 70-30 (spot-buying) split, with 70 per cent advertisers and sponsors already booked.

A 360 degree marketing plan has been designed for BBK 2, for which it has earmarked around Rs 8 crore. This includes 150 hoardings across Karnataka and on 50 bus shelters in Bengaluru, 100 branded buses and ad spots on three radio stations. It has also planned for print ads in all publications on the launch day as well as magazine. Other outdoor and BTL activities include multiplex activity at PVR and Inox, mall branding in Bengaluru, door to door activity and mobile van activity.

The channel is promoting the programme heavily on the digital platform through its website and social networking sites. It also intends to have a sub domain for BBK. The channel will dedicate 70 per cent of its promo time on this show during the launch phase, as well as run spots on its sister channel, Suvarna Plus.

Industry sources peg the production cost of the show at about Rs 16 crore to Rs 17 crore across the 100 episodes, with the total cost pegged at around Rs 30 crore to Rs 35 crore. “There is no such thing as inflation. This season will cost about the same as last season to produce the show,” reveals the source. About 800 technicians would be working in shifts behind the scenes.

While Chandrasekharan claims non disclosure agreement (NDA) reasons for not disclosing the amount that the channel is paying for retaining host Sudeep, industry sources put the amount at between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2.5 crore.

 “Sudeep was the obvious choice for season 2 as well. If we had brought in someone else, it would be like re-inventing the wheel. So what if the show has switched channels?” says a source at Endemol India.

Though the show did bring in ratings numbers for ETV Kannada during in season one, it did not rake in the money that was expected reveals an industry source. “This was probably the reason that the Star Network could take the show away from Viacom18,” explains the source.

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