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OMS EAR: Audience looks forward to ‘check out’ SRK on KBC ‘Hot Seat’

09-January-2007
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OMS EAR: Audience looks forward to ‘check out’ SRK on KBC ‘Hot Seat’

Optimum Media Solutions, (OMS), Mudra Group’s independent media agency, recently conducted an EAR (Estimation of Audience Response) study asking for ‘Janata’s Vote’ regarding their perception about the impending third season of KBC. The main objective of the survey was to estimate the response level of the viewers towards watching KBC with Shah Rukh Khan as its anchor.

The field survey was conducted by Hansa Research for OMS with a sample of 200 men and women in each city among SECs A, B & C and age bracket of 25-44 years. The study, conducted across the three major metros of the Hindi viewership belt (Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata), was intended to estimate response levels of viewers watching KBC-3 with SRK as anchor.

Chandradeep Mitra, President, Optimum Media Solutions, said, “Given that the day of reckoning for STAR Plus is drawing nearer with the impending launch of KBC, advertisers and the media fraternity are waiting with bated breath for the final verdict of the Indian viewers. Will they accept the ‘Badshah’ as the successor to the ‘Shahenshah’ in the ‘Hot Seat’?”

He further said, “Will they still be as loyal as they had been in the previous seasons of KBC-3? Will it be another successful venture for the STAR Plus and be viable enough to rake in the advertising ‘moolah’? Will it redefine Indian television viewing yet again by its star-glitz? All these can only be speculated upon as of now, and for an improved prediction, one needs to go to the viewers to feel the initial pulse and receptivity of the Indian audience.”

Regarding the choice of host, Big B is clearly way ahead of the King Khan across generations, cities, gender and SECs. Nothing, or no one, can beat the on-screen presence and charisma of Amitabh Bachchan.

Even though the study suggests that for all categories of viewers Bachchan remains the original choice as host for KBC, a large section (71 per cent) are willing to give SRK a chance before writing him off. Coupled with 21 per cent who will definitely continue watching KBC3, a very high 92 per cent of viewers polled are going to ‘try’ the first few episodes of KBC3.

A major chunk of Shah Rukh Khan loyalists consist of females, Delhiites, and the up-market segment, which bodes well for the advertisers aiming at women and higher SECs. However, although 20 per cent of viewers polled are likely to remain loyal viewers, there are still 50 per cent of viewers who are ready to flirt with other options. This can be seen generally as the fallout of initial scepticism about the change in host for a ‘host-centric’ programme like KBC.

An interesting finding is in the area of expected changes. Viewers in different cities have different expectations: Delhiites expect easier entry, Kokatans hope for more fun/humour, while Mumbaiites expect the least change.

Another issue of concern would be the time slots. According to the study, although, the weekday 9.00 pm slot is the most preferred one, the next most preferred time slot is the weekend prime time slot. This is more prevalent within the viewer segment over 40 years of age and among lower socio-economic classes.

What clearly emerges from this study is that though compared unfavourably vis-à-vis Bachchan by all audience groups, the new host is definitely worth a bet for advertisers for the first few episodes, when the audience will ‘check-out’ SRK on the ‘Hot Seat’. It is also a long-term win-win situation for advertisers targeting women and the up-market segment of the population.

Cricket will be a major point of concern and must be regularly tracked to avoid any clash with KBC-3. Because a fair amount of ‘surfing’ is expected for KBC-3, it is imperative that there be a continuous tracking of it with reference to competitive programming. Finally, however, it all will depend on how effectively the charisma of SRK stacks up in the first few episodes in comparison to the standard set by his predecessor.

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