Hindi general entertainment channel Colors is gearing up to launch the sixth season of its flagship Bigg Boss on October 7. The channel is betting big on the show’s host, Bollywood actor Salman Khan, to grab more eyeballs, and eventually, more advertising revenue.
Industry sources said though the channel had not zeroed in on any sponsor for the show yet, it was seeking a premium of about 20 per cent, considering the popularity of Khan, who had delivered five back-to-back hits, and scheduled the show at 9 pm.
“Bigg Boss is a very expensive show, with an equally high interest level among viewers. This time, we are making it even bigger and are introducing a lot of new elements. So, it demands a premium,” Colors chief executive Raj Nayak told Business Standard. He added given the change in the show’s format (aimed at targeting the entire family) and the primetime slot, the show is expected to have a broader base of audiences and advertisers.
The show costs Rs 145-160 crore a season, and, at best, any channel can expect a return of 70-75 per cent from advertising, industry sources said. Colors expects to select a title sponsor (Rs 35-40 crore), a sponsor (Rs 20-25 crore) and six to eight associate sponsors (Rs 10 crore each). Nayak said half the free commercial time would be given to sponsors, while the other half would be reserved for spot-selling.
Mindshare principal partner (client leadership) Anita Kotwani said, “If the channel is guaranteeing eyeballs for the committed outlay, advertisers will not shy away from it. Also, if the brand is interweaved into the content, with a perfect fit, as part of the outlay committed, it adds as a sweetener to explore the property. As for the host, he has mass appeal and people will go on to watch their favourite actor. But the main eyeballs would be accounted for by the drama created on the show by the participants.”
Last year (season five), at the 10.30 pm slot, the show averaged a 2.5 TVR rating, while at the 9 pm slot (season four), the show had averaged a TVR rating of 3.4.
Kotwani added, “A shift in strategy— making an appeal to the family with a show that has never been family-oriented---will be an uphill task. At the very heart of the show lie voyeurism, drama and masala, which the audiences are used to. It should have a good opening, as curiosity to see the set of participants and Salman in action would be high. However, only time would tell whether it would live up KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati), as both hosts have immense appeal with the masses.”
The channel will spend Rs 8-10 crore on marketing the show.