BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Sanjeev Srivastava in Bombay
"The real draw is in the prize money"
 real 28k

Monday, 23 October, 2000, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Asia's richest TV show promises $2.2m
Poster of Kaun Banega Crorepati
KBC has made Star TV India's top satellite TV channel
Asia's richest television game show, with a top prize money of $2.3m, will hit the screens on Monday in a battle of the airwaves.

Called Sawal Dus Crore Ka (The 100m Rupee Question), the three-days-a-week game show will be aired on Indian satellite channel, Zee TV.

It is a killer game show, and well-devised

Anchor Anupam Kher
The show is Zee's answer to the hugely popular Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) aired on the Rupert Murdoch-owned Star TV.

KBC is anchored by India's most famous film star, Amitabh Bachchan, and it recently gave away its $220,000 top prize to a 27-year-old student.

KBC went on air on July 3 and helped Star unseat Zee as the top Indian satellite channel within a few weeks.

Now Zee wants that position back with Sawal Dus Crore Ka.

'Killer game'

"It is a killer game show, and well-devised," the show's anchor Anupam Kher told a press conference in Bombay. "It deals with dreams and aspirations."

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher faces an uphill task
The one-hour show will see the prize money multiply by 10 with each correct response. If the contestants answer all questions correctly, they will make 10 times more money than a KBC winner.

Mr Kher, a popular actor himself, was chosen to anchor the show because of his wide experience in hosting live film shows and events.

More recently, he was seen anchoring the International Indian Film Awards at London's Millennium Dome.

His face-off with Amitabh Bachchan is being seen as a David versus Goliath encounter in media circles, but Mr Kher himself is not too apprehensive.

"I do not take life as a success or a failure. I just do my job perfectly. There is place under the sun for everyone," he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

Sawal Dus Crore Ka will be aired at 2030 IST (1500 GMT) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays - almost half-an-hour before Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Corrupting viewers

It may be a while before one can gauge the impact of the new show, but the huge prize money has already started attracting criticism from groups accusing Star and Zee of corrupting TV viewers.

You know, somebody cannot decide what is immoral or moral

Sony TV CEO K Dasgupta
Most of rural India is still dogged by poverty, but some critics say the growing presence of international advertising and foreign luxury products, particularly in the cities, has fuelled a general eagerness for money, and emphasis on commercial goods.

But television chiefs play down such criticism.

"You know, somebody cannot decide what is immoral or moral," says Kunal Dasgupta, chief of Sony TV.

"It's what each person decides for himself. And I think the viewer is the same - he will decide morality for himself," he adds.

In a country with a per capita income of $450, that does make a strong point.

And it also explains why so many other channels are working on their own lucrative quiz shows to lure the Indian TV viewer.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

04 Oct 00 | South Asia
Indian wins 'Millionaire' jackpot
29 Sep 00 | South Asia
Star to stay on Indian Millionaire show
21 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Murdoch's Millionaire fight
31 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Indian cinemas are Millionaire losers
19 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bollywood star lands Millionaire show
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories