Television

Kannada KBC to air on Colors Kannada starting 22 June

'Kannada Kotyadipathi' will air on the weekends at 8 pm over 20 weeks.

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BENGALURU: Viacom18 has taken over where Star India left off – the Kannada version of Kaun Banega Crorepati – Kannadada Kotyadipathi or KK will start airing on Viacom18’s flagship Kannada GEC Colors Kannada and its HD counterpart Colors Kannada HD starting Saturday 22 June.

It’s a strategic move as far as Viacom18’s Kannada entertainment cluster head Parameshwar Bhat is concerned – Colors Kannada has a strong lineup of programmes for the week. More often than not, more than half of the programmes in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) list of top 5 Kannada programmes in Karnataka during primetime are aired on it. Besides, on most weeks, Colors Kannada is the most watched Kannada channel based on BARC weekly data.

Bhat needed the weekend programming of his flagship channel to be strengthened – he asked for it and got the rights for KK for his channel when Star India forsake the show after a not very successful season in 2018. Colors will air 41 episodes, of which 4 have already been canned, for the clone that has been tweaked for local Kannada audiences of the globally popular Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Colors has tweaked the fourth season of KK a bit as compared to the previous editions – besides the changes that evolved with each season, the channel has brought back Kannada film icon Puneeth Rajkumar to host the show.

Industry pundits peg the KK cost per episode at Rs 25 lakh or thereabouts. While not confirming the estimates, Bhat is confident that the show will be in the black. And he has his experience with Kannada Bigg Boss to back his confidence. “A property such as Kannadada Kotyadipathi attracts spot advertisers even during the day of the broadcast of the show,” he says. Bhat says that he is sure of them coming in, more so for the weekend, which incidentally, he feels is just an urban phenomenon. For rural folks all weekdays are the same, be they working days or weekends for the rest of the world. He has already roped in Wipro’s soap brand Santoor as presenting sponsor, Eastern Masala and detergent Rin as powered by sponsor and another soap brand – Chandrika Soap as special partner. His marketing is actively working out deals, he says.

Colors has a 360-degree marketing plan to attract eyeballs for KK with touchpoints across on-ground, outdoor, radio, print, cross channel and digital. However, outdoor and billboard promos on the 500 to 600 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses have been restricted to outside Bengaluru for now. Once the show starts Bhat plans to strategically release ads across media including print. Most of the creative work has been done in-house by the channel’s own teams.

Company speak:

Besides strengthening the weekend slot, there are other reasons for Colors doing the show. Here’s what Viacom18 Head of regional entertainment Ravish Kumar had to say via a press release: “The language content consumers have grown enormously over the years and though their tastes vary from region to region, they all converge at family game-show formats like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The universality of a quiz-show brings about cohesivity in viewing making it enjoyable and enhances captive engagement. Featuring real people and stories that showcase their aspiration and reason to win a substantial sum makes for a compelling content proposition.”

Kumar further added, “Gauging the success of our previous two editions in different languages, we’re confident that Kannadada Kotyadipathi will certainly be well received by viewers as well as the advertisers on our channel, who rely on us to bring only the best of content to Kannada television.”

Elaborating further, Bhat said, “Colors Kannada leads the roster in creating and presenting pathbreaking content for its viewers, and Kannada Kotyadipathi is yet another example of our commitment to be industry leaders. We’re luring audience to a form of entertainment that keeps them engaged as well as invested. While the format of the game remains unchanged, we’re scaling up the production and sprucing our treatment to make it more delightful for viewers across genres and milieu; and are also bringing back on board the indomitable superstar Puneeth Rajkumar who will multitask as a host, a friend and a guide.”

KK is produced by Studio Next, the production house of Sony Pictures Networks. Studio Next holds the license of the format, for all Indian languages and has produced more than 1,800 episodes of the show across nine languages. The latest edition of KK will have an upgraded look and feel including an advanced set, claims a press release

Studio Next head Indranil Chakraborty said, “We are extremely happy and privileged to bring the show to the people of Karnataka with their favourite host, Puneet Rajkumar and in the leading channel, Colors Kannada. We have maintained the same ethos of the show as in other languages, followed strict and transparent process for contestant selection and delivered production quality of the highest standards. Kannada Kothyadipathi will celebrate the great leveller of our society i.e. knowledge”.

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