Colors’ latest non-fiction property ‘India Banega Manch’ – the Indian version of the successful Israeli format, ‘Win the Crowd’ has got Raj Nayak, CEO-COLORS, all excited. He considers the show (produced by BBC Worldwide Entertainment) to be an apt example of Incredible India showcasing the immense talent in the country sans any judges or voting mechanism. With Oppo as title sponsor, the show will air on May 7. Nayak opens up about positioning, scale, BARC’s decision to stop measuring analogue and future plans for 2017. Excerpts:
How are you positioning ‘India Banega Manch’?
For me there is no better example of Incredible India than this show. This is a show which showcases the country and its iconic landmarks. You see the talent of incredible Indians, that's what it's all about. You can also look at it as a CSR because you are giving these people a platform. Hopefully they will get some recognition and make some money through it.
Tell us about the scale of the show.
It's in the same range as ‘Rising Star’. Right now we have shot in Calcutta. Delhi and Bombay. It may extend to other cities but it all depends on permissions.
How has ‘Rising Star’ fared?
Very well. It has been India's number one singing show despite being the last entrant.
Will the ongoing IPL affect its viewership in the beginnging?
I don't think so. That's the challenge. IPL is going to end anyway. I believe there is an audience who wants to watch a show like this.
Who are the sponsors?
Right now Oppo is the presenting sponsor. We are also in the process of tying up with our powered by and associate sponsor.
How are you marketing the show?
Since we are doing the show for the first time there is a huge marketing budget for it. If you look at the hoardings you will get an idea on the money being spent. Television teasers will also give you an idea. It’s full 360 degree.
Any plans to take the show to tier-2 and 3 cities?
We will do it in the second season as and when. We don't do one season of any non-fiction show. We see how the show does. Then we learn from it. For instance, as ‘Rising Star’ was drawing to a close it was getting a lot of traction.
You are going strong on both fiction and non-fiction? What’s more important to you?
Fiction is our staple diet while non-fiction is dessert.
How has 2017 been so far?
It has been excellent except for demonetisation. For nearly half the year we have been oscillating between number one and two.
BARC is putting an end to measure viewership of analogue homes from July 1. Do you think it will affect viewership pattern?
India is almost digitised. It's a good thing if you're talking about Digital India and implementation of digitisation. I don't think it will impact the viewership. It shouldn't.
Star Plus rebooted the afternoon timeslot with Star Plus Dopahar. Colors also came out with original programming for afternoon slot back in 2013? Any plans to repeat that?
At this moment we have no such plans. At first we need to broad base our existing time band which we will hopefully do. Our original programming starts at 6.30 or 7pm. We need to build that first and then think of afternoon. ROI in afternoon time-band doesn't justify original programming at least at the moment until something changes or it gets great ratings. It may happen. Right now it's a question of evolving audience. Maybe if someone invests big money and is willing to take the losses and sustain with it then maybe two years down the line there will be an audience. But somebody has to take that call.
What plans do you have for Rishtey Cineplex?
The channel is doing well. We have been going a little slow on movie acquisitions because costs are really going through the roof. It's not a lucrative thing for us. If need be we will go and acquire. But right now we are not in an aggressive mode. We are taking our time. Movie acquisition is definitely not on our priority right now.
But at some point you will see us beefing up both our channel Rishtey Cineplex and Cineplex HD.
It’s been more than a month of Rishtey dropping to number two spot in the Hindi GEC rural market. Does it bother you?
That’s okay. As long as we are in top three it doesn't matter.
What’s lined up next?
We have non-stop launches in both fiction and non-fiction between now and September. We have two shows in fiction.