Did the switch to weekends impact KBC buzz?

07 Dec,2012


By Kshama Rao


That the sixth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati opened with a massive 6.1 is old hat; but what also seems to be equally true is that the show has failed to cash in on the success of last season. The buzz in the TV industry is that there is no buzz around the show this time despite its lofty tagline of ‘Gyan hi aapko aapka haqq dilata hai’. That there are no ratings to corroborate this (in the wake of the announcement of deferring the TAM data during week 41 ((October 7, 2012,) to week 49 (December 8, 2012) by the industry bodies, Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), in consensus with TAM Media. The nine-data is scheduled to release along with the week 50 (December 9-15, 2012) results).


Says an industry insider, “Last year, KBC had a free run with no new big ticket shows at the same time slot on rival channels. They also got many sponsors on board at a premium and though the marketing and promotional buzz was as much or more for the current season, the hype amongst viewers is negligible as if viewer fatigue has set in and it’s no longer fun to watch yet another person with a background full of hardships win. Besides, Zee’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Bigg Boss on Colors cut into KBC’s timings on weekends. Also, apart from crime shows on the weekends, nothing else has traditionally worked on Sony. KBC is no longer appointment-viewing.”


What the industry thinks
Basabdatta Chowdhury, CEO, Platinum Media

Without the data and TVR, it will be difficult to comment. It is also about reach even though success is one parameter. The show has done well for the channel and they have got their revenues, so it is a success for them.


Samir Khanna, EVP and Head, DDB MudraMax Media

If you go by so-called numbers, KBC 6 is a success even though social media says otherwise. According to the common currency that we had precisely till October 8, KBC 6 was doing fairly well. Moving it to weekend was a good move since it is an episode-to-episode show and does not have continuity like serials. KBC format essentially works on weekend format, and it was a good strategy to move it to weekend slot. It might have become repetitive and getting to a point of viewer fatigue, but this fact has nothing to do with weekend.


– Ananya Saha


Also, unlike last season, this year, Sony gambled with the show telecast days. From weekdays it moved to weekends and that, say industry sources, did it in. A channel insider, who’s worked on the last two seasons of the show, on condition of anonymity says, “Well, it opened with a 6.1 which is huge but, yes, the sustenance ratings were affected. And with now the ratings coming in only on December 19, it’s a wait-and-watch game. Having said that, when it was on weekdays it consolidated the viewers, who were looking for more than just daily soaps as viewing alternatives. But this year, with KBC moving to weekends, the very same loyal audience has been fragmented. And that always happens because the weekend viewership is drastically different from the one during weekdays.”


The source continues that while the show started with the noble intention of “gyan” being paramount and the tagline being “gyan hi aapko aapka haqq dilata hai”, it didn’t do much for the show in the later episodes. The channel brought the common man into the forefront with the last two seasons when the show moved from Star TV to Sony and we managed to surprise the audiences; that worked very well so unless you change the fundamentals, surprise your audience every time you bring in a new season, it won’t work in the longer run.”


A member of the production crew who’s been instrumental in putting the show together says on condition of anonymity, “If you ask me, KBC is now settled in its orbit, so ratings don’t matter. But yes, change of telecast days made some damage.”


Has the show run its course? “No,” says the channel source. “It is a great product. It has potential and like in case of any reality show, be it the Indian Idol or The X Factor, unless there is a surprise at the basic level for the viewers, the show won’t click the way you want it the way you want it to. Another very important factor that could have hampered the show prospects is the fact that it came too soon in the wake of the last season. Normally, there should be a healthy gap of say 12-14 months between the two seasons. This time, it ended in January last year and came back in September. The breathing space for the viewers was not adequate enough.”


Another grouse against the show is its duration. The show last one-and-a-half hours. “I don’t think anything is wrong with the duration. 8.30 pm is absolutely fine because that’s when the viewers in the interiors tune in and by the time it’s 10 pm, the metro audience too has joined in. So it works. The celebrity specials too worked be it the Shah Rukh-Katrina Kaif episode, the Sridevi one or the recent Lara Dutta one,” the insider who wished to stay unidenitified told us.


Siddhartha Basu

Siddhartha Basu, chairman and managing director, BIG Synergy, which produces KBC, in a reply to our mail on the same, says, “These are highly subjective perceptions, and quite contrary to the depth and width of KBC’s impact, from the feedback we are getting. But please follow this up with the broadcaster who will be in a better position to respond on whether there is any objective basis or substance whatsoever to such a negative perspective.”


Well, we can instead wait for December 19 when the ratings will come in and tell us the real story. Meanwhile, Kaun Banega Crorepati airs its last episode on January 19.


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