'It is no longer about entertainment, one wants to be part of the Play Along game too'

Ravish Kumar, Head-Regional Entertainment, Viacom 18, speaks on Kannadada Kotyadipathi’s association with actor Puneeth Rajkumar and the network’s foray into other regional spaces

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 9:56 AM
Ravish Kumar

Colors Kannada is bringing back ‘Kannadada Kotyadipathi’ (the regional version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) and the channel has roped in Kannada Superstar Puneeth Rajkumar as the quiz master.

The first episode of this season will premiere, June 22. The show will air every Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on Colors Kannada and also on VOOT thereafter.

Speaking at the launch of the show, Ravish Kumar, Head-Regional Entertainment, Viacom 18, said, “The Kannada market is great business for us. This is the market where we pioneered the best of content. We were the first to bring ‘Bigg Boss’ in the regional space through ‘Bigg Boss Kannada’, subsequently we have gone on to do other formats as well.”

“This is the 4th season of the show and we have scaled up in terms of production values. We are proud to associate with Puneeth Rajkumar, one of the biggest names in the Kannada market. He is a fabulous host,” Kumar told exchange4media. “We have a unique set of participants and the auditions were done in multiple cities. We are giving them a chance to transform their lives and work towards their goals.”

He added, “Play along is a facility we are offering for the first time in the market, both on Jio and VOOT. These days it is no longer about entertainment, one wants to be a part of it and play-along gives an individual that opportunity.”

Speaking about Viacom’s entry into other regional market spaces, Kumar said, “Our strategy is always, go wider, go deeper. At this point we are going wider. We recently launched a Gujarati movie channel, it got a phenomenal response and we are already the second biggest channel in the market.”

He added, “This process is applicable for all regional market spaces. So, as and when we find a meaningful way of entering the market and offering the viewer quality entertainment and disruptive formats, we will look at it.”

Speaking on the performance of regional channels last year, Kumar said, “We had a great year and have grown at a phenomenal rate. Last year, we grew by 30% across all our markets. This is the best in terms of growth at par (if not better) than most of our competitors. There is a need to do more, even in the markets that we are present in. So that will continue to be our focus for this year.”

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