Colors Kannada has maintained its leadership position for a long time. On Friday with the rural data emerging from BARC it further grew its lead over the competition. Colors Kannada’s rating grew to 211 million from 56 million a week earlier. Its closest competitor Udaya TV had ratings of 154 million. Apart from this the top 5 shows in the genre were from Colors Kannada which included Puttagowri Maduve (3.8 million), Lakshmi Baramma (3.8 million), Akka (3.3 million), Maja Talkies (2.8 million) and Agnisakshi (2.6 million).
Colors Kannada is now looking to extend that lead by revamping its programming line-up with the launch of four new shows including the all popular Bigg Boss Kannada edition. While season 3 of Bigg Boss Kannada was launched on Colors Kannada on October 25, the channel plans to launch three other shows in the fiction space in November. This includes Kinari on November 2 at 6pm slot, Gandhari on November 23 at the 10:30 pm slot and the third which is yet to be named will be launched on November 23 too.
The third season of Bigg Boss Kannada had made it back to Colors Kannada which has made a long term commitment to keep it on the channel by acquiring the rights for the next four seasons. Bigg Boss in its second season was featured on competitor channel Suvarna TV.
Speaking about this Ravish Kumar, EVP, Viacom18 & Project Head – Colors Kannada said, “In the first year (Bigg Boss) the channel was at No.4, we brought in Bigg Boss with the intent of signalling to the market that change was happening on then ETV Kannada. Bigg Boss has been one of our torch bearers even in Colors, it was one of the marquee shows that propelled Colors to success. Here it was no different. Bigg Boss signalled a change in fortune of ETV Kannada and that was quickly backed by fiction shows launched and taking off. By year two we were however in a state where our fiction shows had really taken off. In which situation it becomes very hard to successful show and replace it for a period of three months”. He further added that in the first year they had consciously took a huge loss in terms of revenue by bringing on Bigg Boss but said that benefits they got for it were elsewhere and helped uplift the portfolio of shows. “This year around we were in a state where people have come to us saying you are already No.1 why are you doing the show? It is very straight forward it is a format which we have done and have done extremely successfully and love it. It was tough to let it go, but I am delighted to have it back. We have a logical break right now because I have two shows which are ending and this comes at a perfect time,” he said.
Kumar did not disclose the exact costs for the production of the show but said, “It is not a significant cost increase from the first season, I can assure you that. This is a very high cost format anyway. It is by far the most expensive show ever done in Karnataka by a significant number. One is the cost per episode which itself is very high and secondly is the sheer number of episodes. We are doing 98 episodes plus one launch episode.”
The show currently has four brands on board with one or two more brands expected to come on board for the show. OLX is the presenting sponsor, Gemini and BRU as the co-powered sponsors and Vini Cosmetics Fogg as the associate sponsor. With six sponsors on board 70% of the inventory will be filled up and the rest will be given for spot buys. The ad rates for the spot buys will be 3-4 times the channel average ad rates.
“The whole premise or the objective we are chasing is to breakeven this year,” said Bikash Kundu, SVP & Sales Head, Regional Cluster, Viacom18.
On the marketing front Kumar said, “If you look at the marketing campaign for Bigg Boss (Kannada) this year we are spending anywhere from Rs.1.5-2 crore on it. That is a huge spend in a state like Karnataka. A lot of it is going towards print, radio, outdoor and on cross channels. In addition to this we also have a whole digital campaign, leveraging our own website as well. Then there is ambient advertising on intercity railway platforms and ticket counters. And then there is the big Mysore Dusshera Mela that has 10,000-15,000 footfalls a day, so we will have a significant presence there as well.”