Once we have enough content, we will launch a sports channel

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Updated: Oct 5 2010, 05:19am hrs
Multi Screen Media (MSM), which runs Sony TV, is looking for an exponential growth in advertising revenues from the fourth edition of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). With Amitabh Bachchan back as the host, Sony has also tweaked the format of the game show to attract more eyeballs. Manjit Singh, CEO-MSM Group, tells FEs Shaheen Mansuri about the channels plans to air strong weekends and week day programmes, which will eventually help the channel bridge the gap between Sony and other GECs.

KBC 3 had an average television ratings of over six. Do you expect Sony to net in more ratings this time

An average rating between two and three will be considered good at a time when there is a flurry of reality shows across GECs. Sony has been on an upward curve since last year with ratings moving from 80 to 180 GRPs (gross ratings points). KBC is going to drive the next level of growth for the channel.

Is there any change in the format

This time, we have new features which I think will make the show even more engaging. The questions have been reduced to 12 from 15. 'Fastest finger first' contestants get to stay for a week, hence, more chances of getting on the hot seat. An expert will be present in the studio each day to help the contestants. A contestant can use ask the expert lifeline. The participant can choose to use a double dip lifeline---this allows the contestant to give two answers. If the first answer is incorrect, the contestant can pick one among the options lefts as his second answer. In the phone-a- friend option, viewers get to see the image of the friend when the contestant uses this lifeline. Lastly, timer clock, adds pace to the game. The contestant will have to answer question 1 and 2 within 30 seconds and questions 3 to 6 within 45 seconds. There is no limit on time from questions 7 onwards.

Apart from KBC which other properties do you consider premium

Indian Premier League is on of our premium properties. We are on the lookout of acquiring more such properties in different sports. We already have IPL and once we have enough content, we will launch our sports channel. MSM has always had an interest in sporting events. The channel had bagged exclusive cable and satellite television rights for ICC tournaments from 2003 to 2007.

What about fiction shows Is there any new programmes in the offing

We have experimented with different content. In fact, the channel is exploring opportunities at creating content which can be watched by the entire family. We will attempt shows in other genres, such as action thrillers and crime. We are in the process of mounting two new YRF shows; one is a thriller, which would be launched following KBC. Besides, Sony plans to introduce a fresh international format for viewers early next year.