Mumbai : Colors the Hindi entertainment channel from Viacom18, has signed up Bollywood actor — Priyanka Chopra, to host the special Indian Premier League edition of ‘Fear Factor — Khatron Ke Khiladi’, which is the channel’s flagship format show. The show expected to be aired in September 2010 will have Chopra taking 13 cricketers to task. The last season, hosted by actor Akshay Kumar, opened at a television rating of 4.4%.
The Special IPL Edition of ‘Fear Factor — Khatron Ke Khiladi’, will have 13 Indian as well as international cricketers competing with each other for the top spot on Fear Factor ‘Khaton ka Khiladi’ 2010. The show is part of their strategy to weave interesting entertainment around the biggest cricketing event in India — the IPL, by combining two of India’s biggest passions – Bollywood & Cricket. Confirming the development, Ashvini Yardi, programming head — Colors, said, “We’re delighted to have Priyanka on-board to host this year’s Fear Factor – ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’. She added that Akshay Kumar has taken the show to success, and now actress Priyanka Chopra could add to the glamour factor. As per a media buyer, the ad rates were well over a lakh for ten seconds in the last season of Khatron Ke Khiladi. The buyer added that Colors hadn’t negotiated on any current deals as yet on the new season.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), on behalf of its eight franchisees, had tied up with Colors, to launch a series of entertainment programmes around the popular Twenty20 cricket tournament. The channel, part of Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd, had opted to produce programmes to be aired not just during the tournament in March and April but after the season as well, expanding the coverage and content to appeal to a wider audience.
Although there was no official word on the size of the deal, a person close to the development said Colors would pay IPL about Rs100 crore for a three-year contract with the franchisees and IPL. “With IPL you have this 45-50 day window where everyone practically has to shut down the channel… Rather than do that, we decided to get into bed with them,” Rajesh Kamat, chief operating officer, Viacom 18 and chief executive of Colors had said in an earlier interview. In cricket-worshipping India, viewership of such channels falls drastically during major tournaments. Kamat said general entertainment channels took a 10% hit on viewership during the second season of IPL last year.
No surprise then that the channel has opted to pick another Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra to push ratings on their show.
As per television viewership data shared by TAM Media Research Pvt Ltd (7th March 2010- 13 March 2010), Colors is the number one channel in the general entertainment space with 338 gross rating points. Star Plus comes second place with 335 gross rating points and Zee is third place with 242 gross rating points. Gross rating points are the sum of television ratings over an extended period of time. In channel share, the two channels — Star and Colors are neck to neck with 24% share. Colors’s show Balika Vadhu is back as the top rated show with an average of 7.7% television rating while Star Plus’s Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain comes second with an average television rating of 7.5%.
A Star executive said on the condition of anonymity that Color’s current high is only because they killed the protagonist of Balika Vadhu, adding a twist to the story.
In addition, the executive said that they’ve time and again been running Bollywood films such as Blue in order to get a fillip. The strategy is a short term one, as per the executive.
Manoj Malkani, vice president, media specialist MPG said that the challenge for Colors would be to stand out from other adrenaline pounding shows such as as Roadies. “A lot of the success depends on how well they are marketing and advertising the show. It’s possible that women could be hooked on because of Priyanka Chopra, but these may not be housewives. If it’s not marketed well, there is a danger of the show just appealing to niche audiences that go in for stunt-related shows,” Having said that, Malkani still stresses that signing on Priyanka adds freshness to the format, and is a break from monotony of daily soaps on different television channels.