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No one ever pressurised us to shift the time slot for ‘Bigg Boss Nau’: Raj Nayak, Colors

The Colors CEO defends the new time slot for ‘Bigg Boss Nau’ and speaks about the challenges of sustaining viewer interest after eight seasons

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | September 29, 2015

Raj Nayak, CEO - COLORS and President, The Advertising Club Raj Nayak, CEO - COLORS and President, The Advertising Club

‘Bigg Boss’ is set to return for Season 9 on Colors from October 11, 2015. Sporting the tagline ‘Double Trouble’, ‘Bigg Boss Nau’ is expected to see a few changes. While the show launches in the 9.00 pm slot, it will subsequently air in the new time slot of 10.30 pm from Monday to Friday. On weekends, the show will air at 9.00 pm. Salman Khan returns as the show’s host for the sixth straight year.

Deepak Dhar Deepak Dhar

‘Bigg Boss’ producer Deepak Dhar, CEO & MD, Endemol Shine India, said, “Every year the idea is to innovate and bring out a new skin around the format, and this time it’s very simple – ‘Double Trouble’. The entire theme will play out from October 11 onwards. ‘Bigg Boss’ as a format has really innovated year on year. So, we don’t really need to rely on a specific punch all the time.”

Commenting on the association with Colors over eight seasons of the show, Dhar said, “It’s been a fantastic journey with Colors. They’ve really taken the brand to the next level every year. So, it’s been a great collaborative journey.”

‘Bigg Boss Nau’ is launching at a time when Colors is in a buoyant mood, having climbed up to the No. 1 spot among Hindi GECs and managing to retain this position.

“We have a very good team headed by Manisha Sharma, who is the Head of Programming. All my generals are firing on all cylinders. There is a strategy in place, the thought process is there, there is proper planning and preparation and we will give it our best shot,” said Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors.

Commenting on how difficult it is to sustain the show after eight seasons, Nayak admitted, “It is extremely difficult, because first of all it is an extremely expensive show. Secondly, casting is a challenge because whilst we have thousands of people wanting to be in the Bigg Boss house, the kind of people that we want is a challenge, and that’s something that we face every year – identify different people from different spheres. There is a certain criteria on which we choose and audition. The biggest challenge is always casting.”

On the expectations from ‘Bigg Boss Nau’, he said, “For us, ‘Bigg Boss’ is a cult show – when the show gets over, our viewers get withdrawal symptoms. I think that is the beauty of this show. And it’s not just the people who are watching the show, the host, too, gets withdrawal symptoms. In fact, everybody associated with the show gets withdrawal symptoms.”

With ‘Bigg Boss Nau’, the reality show will be seen in a new time slot of 10.30 pm as opposed to the 9.00 pm slot of the earlier seasons. The show had faced some controversy surrounding its content a few seasons back with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting reportedly urging the channel to shift the show to 11 pm and beyond.

When asked whether that had played a part in shifting the show’s timing to 10.30 pm, Nayak replied, “Nobody has ever pressurised us or told us when to air the show. In the last two seasons, we had aired the show at 9.00 pm and it worked very well for us. Also, we didn’t have fiction shows working for us that time. Now, most of our fiction shows are doing well. Six out of the top 10 shows are on Colors. Our research has shown that the best time slot is 10.00 pm because in big metros people come home late. But we have the show ‘Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hai’ at 10.00 pm, which is very successful. So, we had to push ‘Bigg Boss Nau’ to 10.30 pm. Ideally we would have liked to air it at 10.00 pm. However, on weekends we’ve kept the time slot of 9.00 pm, a space that is being vacated by ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’.”

The new time slot is not a deterrent to sponsors as quite a few sponsors have already come on board. Snapdeal returns as the title sponsor, while OPPO Mobiles is back as the powered by sponsor. ‘Bigg Boss Nau’ is driven by Maruti Swift. Other sponsors include Garnier Men Powerlight, and CP Plus CCTV Cameras, among others.

“We are in discussions with a few more clients. The ticket size for this show is very big, hence it takes time, but hopefully by the time we go on air we’ll have another 3-4 sponsors,” said Nayak.

He maintained, “Whether it is at 9 pm, 10 pm or 10.30 pm, the time slot has never decided on the content. If the content is engaging and appeals to the audience, they will watch it. ‘Bigg Boss’ is a show which I would describe as an education show on human psychology.”

Dhar added here, “We will still keep it in a family space, keeping in mind the single TV households. We are going to push the game, but in the family zone.”

Though he didn’t disclose the full marketing plan, Nayak said, “Our thrust will continue to be television, but we will also be focussing on digital because it plays a very important role and the audience that comes to ‘Bigg Boss’ involves a lot of youngsters. So, we want to target them as well. At Colors we say, ‘Chavanni pheko toh sikkey ki awaaz aani chahiye’ (Throw a 25 paise coin, but it should sound like a rupee). This much I will say is that there won’t be any area of marketing and media consumption that we will not be present in – be it radio, TV, outdoor, digital, activation – every area will be covered.”

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