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“Risk equals gains,” says Raj Nayak of Colors at the launch of Kawach

Announcing the launch of Kawach, another folklore-based show in place of the super hit Naagin, the Colors CEO has shown a keen interest on giving seasonal formats a big chance

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | June 7, 2016

Vivek-Dahiya,Maheck-Chahal,-Raj-Nayak,-Mona-Singh

As the most-watched show on the Hindi GECs celebrated its finale on June 5, the makers and the channels have brought another feisty one for the viewers. So, Kawach… Kali Shaktiyon Se will be replacing Naagin at the popular weekend 8pm slot on Colors from June 11.

The channel has already announced the launch of Season 2 of Naagin to be launched in October, right after the end of Kawach, and possibly that will be followed by Kawach Season 2, if all goes well. Sounds like the seasonal format trend is the next in thing to hit the Hindi GEC genre and Colors will arguably be the frontrunner in it.

Raj Nayak Raj Nayak

Raj Nayak, Chief Executive Officer, Colors gave a wonderful analogy of the format to eating. “We want to give viewers only that much delicacies to enjoy that they should feel hungry after some time. It’s like movies and franchises.”

The channel had experimented with the format in 2013 with their daily soap Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha. But the second season of the show failed to attract enough viewers. The channel recently announced the launch of its much-hyped expensive and premium property -- 24 Season 2. How much confidence does it take to take such a step?

Nayak is modest in saying, “Viewers too have proved that probably they are ready for the new format of programming. If the viewers don’t take it, we won’t bring a Season 3. But we will try to give new things to our viewers. With Kawach and second season of Naagin, we have shown a lot of confidence in the show and its creators.”

That indeed will be true as the cost of production of Naagin and Kawach both would be at least four to five times of a regular fiction episode. A regular fiction episode is produced at about Rs 5-6 lakh per episode of 22 minutes. But these shows due to graphics and VFX have gone much beyond. However, the ad rates too for the slot have gone up. As per the industry sources, the channel was commanding close to Rs 1.5 lakh per 10-seconder for the leader of the flock, Naagin.

So is it making financial sense to the channel? Refusing to divulge the figures, Nayak said, “Of course it is! We as a channel have a clear idea of balancing the two sides. We have a keen eye on profit. We always ensure that the entities are making money. But we are also sure that good content will lead to good viewership, ultimately giving us good monies.”

It is however true that Bigg Boss was a loss-making property for years. It was only around Season 8 that the show started making monetary equation balance for the channel. It must be commendable that the channel backed and built the franchise for such a long time. Nayak agrees, “We got the balance sheet right in the season previous to the latest one. But then we look at it as the complete portfolio should make money. Even in a platter of food, some things make money, some don’t. The final equation should be positive, that’s it.”

The upcoming season of Bigg Boss will show a lot of common people for which about 30,000 people have already registered.

As for Kawach, the channel will sell it on the same premium as of Naagin, as the ‘slot itself has become a premium slot’, as mentioned by Nayak.

That is true, again. Naagin has enjoyed being the most watched show in the genre, about 90 per cent of its screen time. This ought to give that extra confidence to the channel. But one would wonder, why shut a show with that performance? Why not make it a long format show?

Nayak said, “Leaders must behave like leaders. It is not easy to shut a high performing show and put something else there. Indian media has this bad habit of stretching the shows beyond a point and they will shut it only when the show has lost its charm. If one feels that Kawach is a risk since it is taking Naagin’s place, I say ‘risks equal gains’. I am very confident that the content of Kawach too will work.”

So, why then is Balika Vadhu (BV) being carried on for so many years? The show was recently shifted to a 6.30 pm early primetime slot, weeks after a leap in the storyline. Is the magic of BV fading? Why didn’t the channel try seasonal one for this show?

Nayak said, “There is only a time in any channel’s life cycle when we can take risks. Possibly, we have gained that confidence now. If you ask me, I am very keen on cutting short a fiction show when it is getting its peak ratings and bring it in another season after three months.”

‘Supernatural’ is the flavour of the season for the channel. While the protagonist in one of its long running shows, Sasural Simar Ka, turned into a fly recently and Kawach replacing Naagin, did you think the channel is targeting rural? Not really! Naagin has been getting most of its viewership from the urban audience.

Nayak said that the channel never targeted the rural with this content. “It is only in the mind that urban don’t trust or enjoy folklore. Colors has always targeted urban and LC1 markets. If there’s a spill over and rural watches the content, it is good for us. Any content is not really different for urban and rural; it can have an age divide, though. Content travels masses + classes.”

Kawach-poster1 Kawach-poster

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