Posts Tagged ‘Malayalam’

Reality shows over take Soap operas across Kerala

December 14, 2007

With corporates queuing up as big-time sponsors, reality shows have displaced weepy soap operas as the prime time obsession in TV channels across Kerala.

Sensing a potential gold mine in ad revenue from reality shows, which are notching up high TRP’s, Malayalam TV channels are increasingly plumping for such programmes. Amrita TV is airing as many as four reality shows during prime hours. Even the CPM-sponsored Kairali TV has two reality shows running including one on cookery.

Fabulous prizes ranging from apartments to limousines offered by the mobile phones and FMCG companies and builders have led to overwhelming response to participation in these shows. Last year, a youngster from a poor financial background came up top in a dance reality show and won a Swift car.

Confident Group leads the list of prize sponsors by a long way. This Bangalore based builder, which has an array of apartment projects in the state, has given a new dimension altogether to sponsorships in Malayalam TV channels with prizes like Rs 40 lakh apartment, Merc and limousine. Interestingly, the group has picked reality shows in Kerala for brand positioning.

“From the branding stand point these shows are ideal for us with high viewership cutting across multiple segments including NRI’s,” says P Sunil Krishnan, president and CEO of the group.

Mobile phone companies are not behind in extracting brand mileage as chief sponsors of these shows. The Idea Star Singer show in Asianet touched a TRP of 22.4 in the 100th episode, the highest in Malayalam TV channel history. Till about a year ago, tearjerkers had held the sway with a high viewership among women.

Idea has been sponsoring the show two years running and the result has been reflected in its subscriber numbers. “The brand visibility has gone up considerably with the show. We have become the mobile phone company with largest subscriber base in the state crossing the 23 lakh-mark,” says B Ramakrishna, COO, Idea Kerala. It has over taken BSNL, which was leading till a few months ago.

Vodafone and Airtel are other big sponsors of reality shows. Vodafone ‘Thakadhimi’ aired on weekends in Asianet is a dance reality show that has a rising TRP. Airtel Star Wars in Kairali channel features singing and dancing contests among the colleges in the state with cash prizes worth Rs 50 lakh.

Mobile phone companies are betting more on the brand pull they get from these shows. Unlike reality shows on national channels, the SMS revenue, which they have to share with the channels, is not much.

In the end, TV channels are the clear winners riding on growing ad revenue. “We were the first channel to popularise reality shows in Kerala overcoming the passive viewership seen for serials,” says Shyamaprasad, reputed film director and president (programmes) of Amrita TV.

The channel, which aired a reality show for moms, has set up a 26,500 sq ft. reality centre and studio in Thiruvananthapuram to focus more on such programmes.