Saturday, August 27, 2005

KBC economics

It seems intriguing that a game show (Kaun Banega Crorepati - Who wants to be a millionaire clone in India- popularly known as KBC) should pay out something like 2 crores (.2 bn) rupees for answering about 20 questions to some participant. On the face of it, it does seem intriguing, but of course everyone (especially STAR which airs the programme) is laughing their way to the bank.

This piece in Financial express, gives some clues. So, heres some rough calculations from me added in. STAR has spent about 90 crores in marketing KBC. A 10 second ad spot on the programme costs about 3.4 lakh. So, advertising for a minute would cost (without discounts) a little over 20 lakh rupees. A rough estimate of 15 minutes of advertising per episode means a straight 3 crores. Also factor that there are about 8 sponsors of about 19.5 crore each. After all this, apparently STAR earns about 2.5 crore per episode (which I feel is on the lower side) and this obviously includes the anchors fees as well. At the end of 85 episodes, taking this figure at face value, STAR would have earned about 212 crores and paid out at the most about 30 crores (3 participants per show, each winning 12.5 lakh for 85 episodes - this is way on the higher side). That gives them a neat profit of about 100 crores. (give or take a few, how much does that matter?).

Then of course, it eats into other channels viewership ratings, while increasing its own ratings, leading to a (short term, atleast) increase in viewership. If some of the sudden viewership sticks on to star, and KBC works as a launchpad to move to the next level of viewership, nothing like it for STAR.

So, such big bang shows such as KBC are here to stay. Only, it does not happen everyday, so for every bang, there can be quite a few whimpers.

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