Oct 25, 2008

Entertainment - India;Channels fight for 1 Vs 100

With reality shows scoring over soap operas both in terms of TRPs and ad rates, a battle has broken out between leading Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) to acquire the rights of an international popular game show 1 Vs 100, created by production house Endemol.

It is learnt that Star Plus and NDTV Imagine are among the top contenders to acquire the rights for the show, some others have also expressed interest. Sources add that one of the contesting channels has already approached Amitabh Bachchan to host the show though there is no clarity yet on whether he is willing to sign on.

Viacom 18’s Colors was also in the race to acquire the rights for the show, but now, it is learnt, Colors is no longer a contender. When contacted, an Endemol India spokesperson said that the production house could not comment on details since the show is at the ‘pitch level’ currently. Star Plus executive V-P and GM Keertan Adyanthaya says: “We are not aware of any such show.” NDTV Imagine officials also refused to comment.

1 Vs 100 is an expensive format show. Questions are posed to one key contestant whose answers have to be matched with 100 others for the original contestant to win a cash prize. Going by the latest TAM ratings, Star Plus—which has ruled the segment for years—and relatively new-entrant Colors are now neck-and-neck for top slot in the GEC space. The latter’s reality-based programmes Khatron Ke Khiladi followed by Bigg Boss II were almost instant hits in terms of ratings.

All GECs, including Sony, Zee, NDTV Imagine and Sahara, are learnt to be aggressively looking at content line-up, including big-ticket reality shows, to notch up TRPs and prop up their ad rates. Broadcasters in the GEC space have been turning to expensive-format game shows to boost declining TRPs. Example: Star Plus’ KBC and Sony’s Dus Ka Dum.

Star’s Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain, however, failed to make a mark despite being hosted by Shah Rukh Khan. The GEC space, dominated by Star Plus, Zee and Sony for long, is witnessing fierce competition. After two big launches, Colors is giving Star Plus a run for its TRPs. And that’s not the only competition. Already, there’s the Samir Nair-run NDTV Imagine. And the segment will get more crowded as new entrants—like Miditech, which has teamed up with Turner International for a Hindi GEC—join the bandwagon. All of this would put further pressure on ad revenues generated by the existing players.

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