Sony out there to challenge big guns

Former World Wrestling entertainment show host Jim Ross once famously said, "If these are sign of things to come, then rest assured we will have wild wild night."

Since then WWE's stylized programme RAW has become the longest running, weekly episodic television show in USA history.

While in India, such a phenomenon is yet to happen, but programmes like Entertainment Ke Liya Kuch Bhi Karega III, Indian Idol, and the most awaited Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 ready to be unleashed on the audience, Sony entertainment is out there to make it to No.1 spot.

And why should the competitors fret over this?

Well if the following things are "sign of things to come' well then rest assured Sony will supersede its competitors.

1. The world television premier of 3 idiots has broken all records. The movie got Sony Entertainment Channel a TVR of 10.9. The movie was premiered on 25th July 2010, Sunday. The movie telecast got the channel a Gross Ratings Point (GRP) of 270 for the 31st week while its 30th week's GRP was just 162. The movie's cumulative reach was 30.5%. The channel gathered a TVR of 17.7, 12.2 and 7.2 from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata respectively.

Sony Entertainment Channel gathered a channel share of 18% and Zee TV followed it with a channel share of 16%. Star Plus and Colors were the top two channels with a market share of about 25% and 20% respectively.

The TVRs across states were 17.6, 17.4, 11.9, 9.1, and 7.7 in Gujarat, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa respectively.

2. Sony Entertainment Television opened the phone lines for KBC 4 on August 2 at 9 pm and it received more than 5 lakh calls in the first 15 minutes from all over India for the question asked by the host Amitabh Bachchan. In eight days the total number of callers has now reached to five crore, as per the channel's data.

The above stats are staggering figures considering the fact that Sony has never been able to create such an impact before after Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi.

And with Dus Ka Dum still there on the backburner, competitors can't take it easy. Sony for now is coming up with Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega 3, which premiers on August 16.

Produced by Wizcraft International Pvt Ltd, the brand new season of Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega promises larger doses of breathtaking skills and awe-striking talents ' truly a great experience in fresh and fun-filled entertainment.

Adapted from the popular American Reality TV talent show, 30 Seconds to Fame, each episode will feature participants carefully selected at auditions across the country.

Besides the participants, the judges too will join hands to entertain the audience. The show would be hosted by Roma Khanna and Vishal Malhotra.

"Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega was an immensely successful show on Sony Entertainment Television last year. Keeping this in mind, we are launching the new season but on a much larger scale. At Sony Entertainment Television, we have always believed in offering our viewers the best in entertainment, both in quality and variety," says N P Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Sony Entertainment Television.

"Entertainment Ke Liye¦ is one such show that not only provides wholesome entertainment, madness with fun, tailor-made for the whole family to sit glued to the TV for one full hour, but also provides the platform to the talented common man to realize his dreams and aspirations. We expect this season to be more successful than the last two seasons," he adds.

So the stakes are higher this time. For one, the prize money has doubled from Rs.5,00,000 in the last season to Rs.10,00,000 for the winner.

From Monday to Thursday, participants will put on display their extraordinary skills and talents, for a minute each. The best among them, voted by the audience and the judges, will win the life changing amount of Rs 11,112 each in cash. The winning performers will also qualify for the weekly finale on Friday. Thereafter, the winners of the Friday rounds will vie for the grand prize of Rs. 10, 00,000.

Ask Namit Sharma, Business Head & Chief Creative Director - Wizcraft Television & Films, and he would tell you that the basic idea was to develop a show that was massive, mainstream, attractive, good looking and very entertaining.

Building a show does have its share of challenges. But Sharma feels that the main challenge was to source the right talent from the country.

"It is not based on a ready international format. It's something that we have cooked ourselves. There were a lot of ifs and buts in the first two weeks of putting it together and it took a while before we got out our first round of public reaction of what works and what doesn't. But once that came in, then it has been a joy ride. The biggest challenge was to get the right entertainments, the right mix of it, sourcing the talent from the country," he says in an exclusive interview with Adgully.

And for this the creative team went to newer cities to get the local talent out on the small screen. "We went to a lot of markets. We used local mediums and spoke to a lot of people and have actually gone far and wide looking for talent and we rewarded at the end of the day. Across India we have covered around 40 to 50 cities. Though it wasn't high budget audition it was large scale in our own way," reveals Danish Khan, Vice President ' Marketing, Sony Entertainment Television.

So what inspired them to start up a show like this?

Sharma says that it was the lack of variety of entertainment shows that prompted them to come up with such a unique show.

"I think there was a gap in the market for a variety entertainment show. There was a saturation of dance and singing shows. There was a fatigue factor in those shows. There was a good gap for a do-what-you want, have-a-ball, family game show and that is exactly what we are giving -- something that 6 to 60, male or female, everybody can sit down together and enjoy," Sharma explains.

Timing of the show also plays an equally important role as the content of the show. After all you would want to have your programme at a time when everyone can sit together and enjoy. With programmes like Indian Idol coming to its closure, Khan felt it was the right time to launch Entertainment ke liye....

"After Indian Idol, this is the biggest property. Since this is coming after Indian idol finale, that is 15th of August, I think this is going to get a good reach base. We are going to do everything possible from today to 16th of August to drive audience towards the channel. Budget aside, I think this is going to be as big campaign as any other," he explains.

And Sony is leaving no stone unturned to promote the programme.

"Promotion is proportionate to the status of the show. We have a multi media campaign which is already rolling out. You would have seen spots of entertainment running across not only Sony network channel but close to 15 other channels across different markets. We have an outdoor campaign run in Mumbai and Delhi. We have malls, multiplexes etc. which rates across the entire Hindi speaking market. We will have a print ad on the day of launch," says Khan.

With humour, daredevilry, action all packed in one will be at display, the tadka will be added by Anu Mallik and Farah Khan to make it a blockbuster judges Jodi.

Ajit Thankur, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television finds the show different from the so-called reality shows.

"There are many reality shows like singing and dancing, in that milieu this stands out like a completely fresh breath of air because here all kinds of talents can be performed. It is not a serious show. I think because it has all kinds of talent and it is packaged as a comedy and entertainment show, it will stand out," says Thankur.

Besides this, Sony is also planning to come up with reality shows. "We have other reality shows lined up for which we are talking to international format owners for, which we are going to definitely work on for the next year. In the next 6 months, this show will take us through till October and a few other big events are planned till December and hopefully a new reality show in January," Sharma says.


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