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Case Code- BSTR004
Publication Date -2001




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In January 2001, all the Star channels were blocked for two weeks by cable operators getting their feed from Siticable, cable network. Media reports indicated that SDCK's failure had prompted Zee to use its arm Siticable, to harm KBC's TRPs by preventing it from reaching viewers. (Another view was that Star, riding high on the success of KBC, demanded higher payment for relaying its channels and stopped feeding them to operators, mainly Siticable, who refused to oblige.) Though Star's viewership did suffer as Siticable commanded 17% of the cable business, it stood its ground, forcing Zee to make peace. Following this, Siticable officials had a meeting with Star officials and reached an agreement to restore Star channels.

Having finally accepted the fact that SDCK was a bad dream to be forgotten, Zee seemed to be moving on. The channel announced plans to launch a totally new concept in Indian television with the first homegrown reality television show14, 'Prisoner of War' (PoW). PoW was based on reality shows like Survivor, which were being aired in Hindi and English by AXN channel. POW was supposed to test the endurance and ingenuity of nine contestants, and was to be shot entirely on location at a specially constructed, huge set at the Subhash Chandra owned EsselWorld in Mumbai.

Sinha, Vice President (Marketing), Zee TV remarked, "Reality TV show has already proved its credentials in the West, becoming the most popular genre of television ever. We are today presenting the future of Indian television."

Zee TV planned to launch PoW in the near future. With KBC still going strong on the TRPs front, it remained to be seen whether PoW would succeed in dethroning KBC from the number one slot.


1. In spite of the huge prize money offered and a strong media push, Zee TV did not succeed in the gameshow war with Star Plus. Discuss the reasons for the failure of SDCK.

2. How far do you think the usage of prize money, to lure viewers is correct? Would the TRPs so generated be sustainable in the long run? Give reasons to support your answer.

3. Do you think reality shows like Prisoner of War (POW) will help Indian channels to increase their TRP's? How?


1.   Sibabrata Das, Kaun Banega Crorepati lifts Star Plus to No 1, Financial Express,September 7, 2000.
2.   Economic Times, Brand Equity, K,B,C of Media Planning, September 13, 2000.
3.   Amita Malik, Kaun Banega Clonepati? -, October 29, 2000.
4.   Ashok Malik, Himanshi Dhawan and Arun Ram - Enter the Clonepatis - India Today November 06, 2000.
5.   The Financial Express, KBC's tail whiplashes Zee prime time - November 9, 2000
6.   N. Vidyasagar, Sawal Dus Crore Ka bombs; Zee hinges hopes on Antakshari - Times of India, November 10, 2000.
7.   The Hindu, The KBC knockout - November 11, 2000.
8.   Sibabrata Das, Zee's gameshow slips as KBC gains in week two -, November 14, 2000
9.   Aparajita Saha, Ronjita Das, 'If I fail to deliver, it's nobody's fault but mine!' -, December 06, 2000.
10. The Financial Express, Zee terminates contract of Kher, Koirala; SDCK in new format -
December 11, 2000.
11. Times of India, Questions galore on Sawal Dus Crore Ka - December 11, 2000.
12. Krishna Gopalan, Only the name may remain in new look SDCK - The Financial Express, December 12, 2000.
13. Anita Joshua, There is life after flop show - The Hindu, December 22, 2000.
14. The Week, Cable War - January 2001.
15. Times of India, Zee to challenge STAR with 'reality' game show - March 06,2001.
16. Feature on KBC -

[14] Shows that put participants in real life situations and broadcast televise the proceedings, which are then
      broadcasted without much change. Reality TV shows like Survivor, were immensely popular in US and
      other countries

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This case study is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. This case was compiled from published sources.

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