The Failure of Zee's Sawaal Dus Crore Ka

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR004
Case Length : 9 Pages
Period : 1991 - 2001
Organization : Zee TV, Star TV
Pub Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"If you want to counter a successful product like KBC, you have to be doubly prepared. Increasing the prize money alone will not do."

- Anupam Kher, commenting on the debacle of SDCK.

Flop Show

December 2000 was a time of sweet victory for STAR TV's1 Indian arm. Archrival Zee TV's (Zee) desperate attempt to cash in on the gameshow2 craze with their 'Sawal Dus Crore Ka' (SDCK), was making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

SDCK, launched to counter the success of Star's pioneering gameshow effort in India, 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'3 (KBC), never really managed to hit it off with the audience. The final humiliation for SDCK came in the form of the termination of the contracts of its two anchors, Anupam Kher and Manisha Koirala.4 Commenting on this, Zee sources said, "Both anchors continued to lack the rapport and harmony ever since the launch of the show and it is sad that their individual ego should have marred or impaired the world's largest to be entertainment show." Soon after the termination, Anupam Kher filed an injunction suite in the Mumbai High Court against the channel claiming that the channel could not air the show without him as host. However, the court rejected Kher's plea.

Reacting to Zee TV's comments on SDCK's failure being due to his and Manisha's incompetence, Anupam Kher said, "When they have anyway thrown the two of us out, why not go on with the existing format if we alone are to be blamed for its failure?"

Manisha Koirala also came out strongly against SDCK and Zee in the media. She remarked, "When I first caught the telecast of SDCK in the second week of November, I was appalled by its poor and tacky production. There were flies sitting on the participant's faces and many of them were sweating not because of tension but heat in the studio."

Though plans of revamping SDCK and of signing new anchors to host the show were made public, Zee TV eventually pulled the program off the air. Having drawn criticism from all quarters, Zee TV was forced to rethink its strategy to win the Indian television TRP5 wars.

The Failure of Zee's Sawaal Dus Crore Ka - Next Page>>

1] Satellite Television Asian Region.

2] Interactive television shows, which awarded prizes (money, assets or both), based on the performance of the contestants in quizzes or other games.

3] Gameshow based on the format of 'Who wants to be a millionaire?'

4] Leading Bollywood actors.

5] Television Rating Points (TRP's) is a measuring tool, based on surveys, to assess the popularity of television programs


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