Colors has launched a new sports entertainment reality show called ‘Ring Ka King’. The show will feature 30 wrestlers (Indian and international).
For the show the channel has brought on Tata Prima as title sponsor and Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has been signed on as goodwill ambassador.
The show will go on air on 28 January 2012 at 8 pm, and subsequent episodes will be aired every Saturday and Sunday on Colors. The show will wrap up before the start of the IPL.
We spoke to Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, Colors, Rajesh Iyer, head marketing of the channel, and Deepak Dhar, managing director, Endemol India to find out more about ‘Ring Ka King’.
Campaign India (CI): What made you bring the wrestling show to India?
Raj Nayak (RN): Endemol and Colors have been talking about the format for quite a long time, even before I joined. When I came in and we got talking, they said that they had done a lot of work on the project, they just needed someone to take a call to launch it. We sat down, went through the whole thing and our research team told us that people have been waiting for a show like ‘Ring Ka King’. So we took the plunge and went ahead with the show, as we have been known for being bold, courageous, disruptive, differentiated and experimenting with different concepts.
CI: The idea behind bringing in Tata Prima as title sponsor and other advertisers for the show?
RN: I think it’s a great brand fit. Our show is an international catered Indian show and Tata is an international quality Indian brand. We are also talking to four-five other advertisers for the show and by the time the show goes on air we will wrap up the deals. it’s not a cheap show and hence sponsoring it won’t be cheap too.
CI: How has the show been advertised?
RN: We have strategically started marketing the show. When a TV show begins, advertising usually starts about seven to ten days before the show. For ‘Ring Ka King’ we started promoting it with Don 2 in theatres. Then we wanted to broadbase the show, so we released the teasers. We have been working on a sustained campaign and there’s plenty of interest that has already been generated.
CI: What can we expect from the show and what’s the idea behind bringing in Harbhajan Singh as goodwill ambassador?
RN: The show has a lot of drama, action, humour and tension which forms the backdrop for the fights. The fights are real to that extent, through techniques but the stories are scripted. Harbhajan Singh’s the goodwill ambassador because with respect to Indian sports, it’s cricket from 1-10 on the list and then comes every other sport, which is unfortunate. I feel very strongly that corporates in India do not go support sport outside of cricket. Now with F1, hopefully it has changed. F1 first had problems getting sponsorships, but now people are regretting not sponsoring it. So what we learnt was for a sport to take off, it needs to be promoted well and have two-three Indian icons. Sport is all about having a fan following. For ‘Ring Ka King’ we’ll have it running for two-three months on TV and then we can take it on-ground. With this show, merchandising could also be a major revenue earner.
CI: What have been the learnings from Endemol from producing the show?
Deepak Dhar (DD): One of the big learnings for Endemol was that we had to cast the show right. For the show we needed to keep the right Indian emotions and cater to the single TV household so that everyone can glue in from the kid to the adult in the family. So we’ve kept the storyline of the show, keeping the single TV household in mind.
CI: The appeal behind launching the show?
DD: What appealed about the show was that it met with the Endemol philosophy where we love breaking new grounds. From stunt based shows to captive reality to scripted to gameshows we believe in doing different kinds of content. So as a production house, we love experimenting and that’s why we thought of getting this wrestling show to India.
CI: What is the target audience for the show?
RN: We are targetting men from the age group of 16-35 and we believe children will get hooked on too. It’s not only a wrestling show.
CI: Wrestling internationally has been violent, will it be toned down for Indian viewers?
RN: We have toned down the show and will have a scroller running throughout the show on the channel that says, don’t try this at home. We are a responsible channel and have taken quality checks.
CI: How has the show been marketed?
Rajesh Iyer (RI): It’s been a very high octane launch as it’s one of our big properties. Five weeks prior to the launch, we promoted it across channels through our TVCs. For outdoor we’re in 70 different cities and we’ll have 100+ ads on the day of tune in. We’re present on radio too and for digital we’ve created an app on Facebook and our website. Through the app, one can put their face on a wrestler's body and experience what a wrestler goes through. The app will go live before the show.