TV steps out of comfort zone, reaches out to viewers

Aug 31 2014, 01:13 IST
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A Surat stadium, with a capacity of 10,000 people, was converted into a KBC-like set and locals were given a chance to play the game live with host Amitabh Bachchan in August. A Surat stadium, with a capacity of 10,000 people, was converted into a KBC-like set and locals were given a chance to play the game live with host Amitabh Bachchan in August.
SummaryEntertainment channels hold special on-ground events to generate viewership spikes, promote shows.

EARLIER this month, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan travelled to Surat to launch the eighth season of popular quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati. This is for the first time the show had walked out of a studio set-up and was hosted in a stadium with a capacity of 10,000 people. The stadium was converted into a KBC-like set and locals were given a chance to play the game live. The event was televised on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) on August 17 as the Grand KBC Premiere.

“Gujarat is a TV-heavy market and Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the state. This was a fantastic combination to generate audience traction,” says Gaurav Seth, senior vice-president (marketing), SET. The channel will host similar on-ground events in three different cities in the next three months. Quite like the grand premiere, the events will then be telecast as KBC specials. “We expect these specials to generate viewership spikes for the show and the channel,” says a top Sony executive.

But it’s not just KBC that has decided to step outside its studio room. Prior to KBC’s travel to Surat, Colors, the flagship Hindi GEC from Viacom18, joined hands with RFS Entertainment, a global entertainment enterprise, to extend its Got Talent franchise premiering in India into a global on-ground experience.

To be called Got Talent World Stage Live, this on-ground extension of Colors’ marquee property, India’s Got Talent, will be a ticketed event hosted by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. The tickets of the event, to be held on December 6 at Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai and televised on Colors, will be available on BookMyShow.com. While RFS Entertainment will present the event, it will be executed by Cineyug.

Says Rav Singh, head, RFS Entertainment, “Got Talent World Stage Live marks the first time where a globally-renowned TV series format will be adapted for a live audience. New talent across genres proving their mettle on every available platform makes India the perfect backdrop for a showcase of this magnitude.”

Evidently, TV content, quite flamboyantly, is delivering symptoms of stepping out of its comfort zone. As per market estimates, any on-ground event for a TV property organised on a grand scale costs two-three times more than a studio shoot. For example, if the cost per episode of KBC is pegged around R2.5 crore, then its on-ground event cost in Surat would be an estimated R6 crore, indicate industry experts.

The question here is,

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