Tuesday, 16 October 2007


So you love those reality talent hunt shows eh? Shows where YOU get to choose who the winner is. Where the show hosts encourage you to pick up your phone and dial in the code of your favourite contestant, or sms your favourite contestant's name to vote for him and ensure that he survives for yet another week, and maybe even go on to win. Feels great to be in control, right? And after all, you're making a career for a very deserving dude or dudette. So what if the sms and call charges are quite high at Rs.6/- per unit? They're not gonna go wasted. ITs all going to nurture talent, right? Or is it?

Okay, so lets do some costing now. I'll try my best to make it a little less boring.

A talent hunt show worth its salt has atleast 15 final contestants. And every week one gets eliminated. So basically the show goes on for atleast 15 weeks. And each week you send in votes.

So lets say 15 wks X 7 lakh votes a week(worst case scenario) X 6 per call/sms = Rs.6.3 crores

The final episode on Zee's Saregama Show had 3.6 crore votes - 3.6cr X 3 X 6 = Rs.64.8 crores

Ad revenue and sale of television rights, which I cannot determine, but I'm assuming that to be more than enough to cover up venue rent, lighting, promotion and other incidental expenses.

Assuming that there are 2000 employees, each earning Rs.25000 per month for 3 months, the total expenditure should come to 15 crores.

Out of the proceeds from calls and sms, lets assume 50% to be paid to the telecom co's

i.e Rs.35 crores.

So that leaves us with a balance of Rs.21.1 crores.

Out of this whopping sum, a meagre 1 Crore (as they claim) each is spent on making the music albums of the Winner and the Runner-Up. And we all know how those albums turn out. Apart from Abhijit Sawant's album, the rest bombed. Look at Amit Sana, Kazi and Rooprekha (man, what a crappy song they got:P), Debojit (who, you ask? :P). And most of them end up as one-Hit (rather one-flop) wonders, who fade into oblivion in a couple of months after the show wraps up.

So 21.1 crores - 2 crores = 19.1 crores.

The winner takes it all.

Only the winner here is not talent, but the shrewd channels.


  1. Hey Crato!

    Well written. something more mind boggling than this were the revenues earned by the channel which aired KBC during the times of Big B! Not that this is not of much importance, but i feel that people have forgotten to prioritise the issues that our society faces! i wish if only the profit which the channel & telecom company would be making would be used for some MORE social upliftment causes.Thats when we will have a REAL WINNER and more talents to nurture!allow me to end on an optimistic note, "INSHALLAH" we will all see this happening with more companies focussing on CSR now than ever before!

  2. very true.. soo many Nos.!!! u actly did d calculations???!!! :D

    apart from abhijeet sawant i dnt kno the rest of the names u've mentioned.. or thr songs :P

    my mom voted regularly fr Indian Idol for Amit. Nw the he dnt win.. she doesn't bothr anymore.. tho she's nw watching some dance competition..

    this embzllmnt of money is thr in every reality series. but i thnk its OK as long as ppl know the truth and still choose to vote..

  3. ya.. its strange o many people spend money on these votings.. itna tho turnout apne national and state elections mein bi nai hota hai.. i guess they shud start sms voting too..

  4. well said
    its all crap
    and people are realising that
    it just a matter of a few yrs

  5. wow some gr8 calculations out thr wid so many zeroes which go to the channels' pockets. though the talents hunts do give some gud talent also (rare occassions) but the winner's charm is shortlived.

    let's just enjoy the flavour of the season and keep counting the number of zeroes.

  6. yess only one thing is misswing in these kind of show is hunt for talents

  7. absolutely my dear friend!!!
    these channels....the media..
    everyone is looking for their profits..the TRP's...
    no one cares about real talent!!
    and even the viewers ...they fall for this very easily!!!

  8. Fifteen weeks does not necessarily total up to 15 weeks of the show. In-between you have wild card entries with winners who had lost, brought in through the back door, to lengthen the show by at least three weeks. Make if five more weeks, for the sake of calculation. So you should rewrite this piece with a 20-week show in hand... sms's included.

    Secondly, music is not the only arts field in which you have reality talent shows. You also have dance (Jhalak Dhiklaja and Nach Baliye) and stand-up comedy (Laughter Challenge and Comedy Circus). Besides, there is one aspect of these talent reality shows you are not aware of. A friend of mine heads an NGO that take care of cancer-afflicted kids. He informed me that he has signed an understanding with a certain channel, on which a certain dance reality show is on, to have a certain percentage of the amount that comes in via sms, for this show, donated to his NGO.

    Even for one season of KBC his NGO was given the winnings of a star contestant with the help of which he bought a great music system for the kids wing of a cancer hospital. Of course KBC is not a reality show of the kind where we have to send voting sms's

    Now, isn't that commendable! Whatever the amount, the channel is sharing part of its booty to a worthy cause.

  9. everybody knows this...
    but point you missed it it needs initial seed capital of some 15 crore which you mentioned.... only big guys like Zee, Sony, Starcan do that...and they might have made 15 crores from some 15 lakhs, try and make that first.. who soes that, thats is the winner..

  10. Hi CRD,
    landed in ur territory aftr a long gap.. sorry buddy :)
    u know how to write interesting stuffs! really this' what a blogger sud know... i always get smthing worth reading in ur blog... this post is no xcptn :) you know, 4 dis reason i hv stopped sms'ng aftr i did dat in indian idol1...

  11. gr8 work ... channels cant survive if they are not talented this way..

  12. what a calculation!!!!


    also calculate how much our politicians eat...

  13. hehe....insightful....gosh...those show producers have got real business acumen!

  14. true about the math bit. but what's the whole purpose of these shows? to lure the gullible public away from soaps and to boost the numberof eyeballs glued to one channel.

  15. lol nice one.The channels just take advantage of the 'homely' crowd.

  16. uve put my thoughts in wrds...

  17. lol.. well said..

  18. haha i knew tht b4 only....so i didnt vote a single time....but u made a mistake in calcuation...
    all votes are not by sms...some are by landline n those costs only 2.4 rs....also smses from mtnl n bsnl do not cost more than 3 rs....so in this case the margin is much less than what u have predicted....coz they have to pay to bsnl mtnl n other telephone companies which are not sponsoring the show....so the figures are much less :P

  19. yaar this the reason i dont vote on this talent hunt shows yaar... its nothing but money making for those ass holes....
    can v be blog frens? dude? do rss feed my blog so tht v both can stay in touch...
    as i am doing the same.

  20. good one dude.....
    keep rocking...

  21. Heheh.....i knw....no channel can do business widout looking at their own profits....u frgt abt TRP's ....look at that show bid2win on star one....they must be earning millions

  22. this is simply awesome post i evr read .. nice work !

  23. Hello CRD. Thanks for dropping by my page, for reading my post, for leaving a comment and for adding me in your recommended blogs here too.
    Great place you've got out here too.
    And I completely agree with this post. All these 'reality shows' seem like big time scam shows. Many a times, one has heard how the participants or their mentors question the transperency of the vote-count. Besides, you know that only the contestants getting rooted by the 'masses' and from a state/region, where people seem fanatic about voting for them, is going to win. So, whats the point in voting at all I wonder most times.
    S m i l e

  24. nice work man!!! awsum post......

  25. I wish at least some of this money would go to a good cause!!!

  26. haha, criss really you HAVE the potential to go as hilarious as you want to be, i have been reading and commenting a couple of your posts and they depict a keen observation with sarcasm.

    hehe, as for voting is concern, i only voted once when for two day our cellular company free'd every sms sent out ;)

    and wow you did all that calculation, they befool us and we are entrapped by them. poor us :)

    you should consider writing more, criss please!

  27. You know, I've known it all along that these sms schemes are a way to make assess of us but somehow I cant help voting for them. I don't know, I think I am willing gullible prey like that..

  28. lol typical rashi there :)

    @post: But them theres something more. I guess the producers have to pay for the airtime. The sets. The people who are playing music there. The director of the show and the whole cast. There are a lot more expenses. But then yea they do make some profit. But then thats what they work for :) Its their job...
    ISnt it?


  29. nice post yaar...even i've wondered...wer frm do they getthose crores & crores of money???...an enlightning post-:)


  30. Hmmmmmmmm...
    that;s y i neva vote... :P
    i only wish em goodluck silently.. ;)

    neways....well written..
    something we must pay attention to...
    y make em rich han?
    we shud start our own reality show!
    jst kiddin

    keep writing!!

  31. Well well. you've done the math pretty well. Yeah well obviously, thats how they earn money duh! Else why should they be in the television entertainment business...

    But I guess it will even out later. They earn in one place, but will loose it elsewhere when some other show bombs. But still they surely are earning enough to keep their coffers filled!

  32. You shold have been an accoutant by profession !!!lolz
    Good analysis of costings.


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