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KBC set to make a comeback

Nithya Subramanian

NEW DELHI, Aug. 20

WITH competitors like Zee and Sony nowhere in the reckoning, Star Plus is looking at consolidating its position further with Amitabh Bachchan and his Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) making a comeback.

And this time around, the channel is betting on interactivity. So, if you couldn't get the phone line last time, this time round, you could win some money SMSing.

Starting September 6, every Friday at 8 p.m., Star Plus is planning to air the best of KBC. Speaking to Business Line, Mr Samir Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Star India, said: "The best of KBC episodes is to just whet your appetite and rekindle the interest. The new episodes will go on air in the New Year." This series will showcase notable moments, great participants, big celebrities et al.

But along with this, Star is using interactivity to keep the interest of the show alive. Mr Nair said that through SMS, viewers would be able to answer questions that Big B would ask the various contestants. Ten people having the maximum number of correct answers would win a prize money of Rs 1 lakh each.

"This concept will also be carried forward when the new episodes begin. Then, 10 people would each win 10 per cent of the earnings on air. So, in a way, we have doubled the prize money; one half goes to the contestant and the other half to the 10 viewers," Mr Nair said.

The channel came up with this new concept because there were a number of young viewers who felt that they knew the answers but just couldn't get on to the show. "SMS is cool and we wanted to keep the interest alive among viewers," said Mr Nair.

But, according to media planners, Star Plus is just testing the waters on the interactivity front. So far, other interactive shows such as Zee TV's Aap Jo Bolein Hain To Hain, Aap Jo Bolein Na To Na did not do well and were taken off air.

"Internationally too, only certain formats of interactive shows have done well. Star's interactive experiment is not an expensive one. But one will have to see how Star Plus' initiative takes off," said a senior media planner.

Mr Nair, however, appeared confident and said the mechanism of interactivity and the format of the show were the key determinants.

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