Sony invests huge in Indian version of Pop Idol

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Indian Idols , the desi version of Fremantle Media’s music based reality show Pop Idol will be making a big splash on Sony Entertaintment Television Asia this Diwali. Idols is scheduled for an October launch, soon after the Champions Trophy, Sony’s big ticket cricket event for 2004, which concludes on 25 September.

Talking to Indiantelevision.com, Sony’s ad sales and revenue management head Rohit Gupta said, “The name Indian Idols has been taken because this show is envisioned as an annual event wherein each year someone is chosen. It has the possibility of becoming a phenomenon.”

Gupta pointed out that in the 25 countries where localised versions of Pop Idol were done, channel fortunes had turned around dramatically. It is pertinent to note here that it is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network in the US that has been the biggest gainer in this respect. “There is no reason why India should be different,” said Gupta. “It is a fallacy to say that foreign shows do not work here. Jassi worked for us and proved skeptics wrong. What KBC and Jassi have shown is that original format shows work.”

Speaking about Indian Idols, Gupta said, “Here, there is a plug-in for the viewer. He/she decides the fate of the contestants, not judges and not celebrity guests on the show. That is why Fox got more votes for the finale of American Idol than the US elections. Even Singaporeans have gone berserk following American Idol.”

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