Colors Marathi looks to strengthen position with ‘Bigg Boss Marathi’

MUMBAI: Viacom18’s Marathi GEC Colors Marathi is gung-ho about the inaugural season of reality show ‘Bigg Boss Marathi. The channel, which has a strong urban skew, hopes to strengthen in the urban market with the help of the reality show.

Marathi is the sixth language in which ‘Bigg Boss’ will be adapted. Apart from Hindi, the format has also been adapted in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

The show will debut on the channel from 16 April and will air Monday-Saturday at 9 pm. There will be a grand opening event of the show on 15 April at 7 pm to announce the 15 celebrity contestants who will live in the house under surveillance for 100 days.

Hosted by Mahesh Manjrekar, it is the costliest show to be produced by Colors Marathi. The cost of production is said to be five times higher than regular shows produced in the market.

Talking about the show, Colors Marathi business head Nikhil Sane said, “Bigg Boss Marathi is five times bigger than any show that is produced in Marathi. It is a very solid technical show which is going live with almost sixty cameras. The technical support you need is equal to Hindi. While the format is the same, the Marathi version of Bigg Boss will be at par with the Hindi version in terms of scale.”

The channel has so far roped in two sponsors and three partners. These include Dabur Red Paste as the presentColors Marathiing sponsor and Rin as the co-powered sponsor. The special partners include Dabur Anmol Jasmine Hair Oil, Nirvana Realty’s Wollywood and Haware Intelligentia.

Asked about the challenges that the channel faced in launching a big-scale show like ‘Bigg Boss Marathi’. Sane said that the biggest challenge for Marathi GECs is the duplication of viewership as Hindi GECs are equally strong in Maharashtra.

As far as ‘Bigg Boss Marathi’ goes, the biggest challenge for Colors Marathi is to ensure that it is innovative enough as the Marathi audiences have also been exposed to 11 seasons of ‘Bigg Boss’ on Colors.

“Although we are launching the first season in Marathi, the viewers who will be watching the show have already watched Bigg Boss Hindi that too with a star like Salman Khan. So for that viewer, it is an extension of 11 seasons. The pressure is immense. If both the shows had in their first year then it would have been okay. The challenge now is to offer innovative content that the viewers haven’t seen before,” Sane elucidated.

Some of the innovations being tried by Colors Marathi is having different tasks for the contestants besides having a new design for the set. The channel has created tasks keeping in mind the nuances of Marathi culture.

While Hindi has an international approach, Sane commented that they have tried to keep ‘Bigg Boss Marathi’ rooted with Marathi flavour by bringing in its own regional culture.

The broadcaster will also have extensive TV and digital integration through its over the top (OTT) platform Voot. The voting for the show will take place exclusively on Voot.

Apart from Bigg Boss, the channel is also working on other non-fiction formats which will be launched in the next two quarters. It is also strengthening its fiction line-up by launching three new shows in next three months.

“Currently, we are focusing on strengthening our line-up of fiction shows, we are opening our financial year with Bigg Boss and there are few more non-fiction shows in the pipeline which are at the developing, in a month or so we will be able to talk more. In next two quarters, we are launching several shows. After this, the next progression for the channel will be to expand our programming hours but right now we are trying to create a solid base but the expansion of programming hours will come soon,” Sane said.

Some of the key shows on the channel are ‘Sur Nava Dhyaas Nava’, ‘Radha Prem Rangli Rangli’, and ‘Ghadge & Sun’. ‘Sur Nava Dhyaas Nava’ is a singing reality show which has become the tentpole show for the channel.

“The reason I feel this show is working is that there is a dearth of singing shows in Maharashtra. The Marathi shows have evolved in last four to five but there hasn’t been a single show that was addressing the need for singing shows. Sur Nava Dhyaas addressed that need,” Sane added.

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