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KBC- Star Plus, Airtel Penalized Rs 1 Crore

Discussion in 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' started by Bridget, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Star Plus, Airtel Penalized Rs 1 Crore For K.B.C.
    Date Submitted: Fri Sep 19, 2008


    NEW DELHI - Arguably the most successful game show in Indian television ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ was on Sept 11 adjudged unfair in certain aspects by the National Consumer Commission which imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on broadcaster Star T.V. and the sponsor Airtel.

    “Star Plus T.V. and Bharti Airtel Limited are held to have violated the provisions of Consumer Protection Act in conducting the ‘Har Seat Hot Seat’ (H.S.H.S.) contest which was in conjunction with the main television show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and thereby adopted unfair trade practice,” the Commission presided by Justice M.B. Shah said.

    The Commission, also comprising members Rajyalakshmi Rao and Anupam Dasgupta, held that in 52 episodes of K.B.C.-3 the telecom company and the channel made a profit of Rs 8.12 crore out of the S.M.S.es sent by viewers to participate in the contest.

    “Considering the large amount of profit earned and large number of consumers affected, this would be a fit case for imposing punitive damage of Rs one crore,” it said.

    Popular T.V. game show ‘K.B.C.’, hosted by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan between January 22 to April 19, 2007, was sponsored by Airtel.

    The Commission’s direction came after an NGO, The Society of Catalysts, filed a complaint alleging unfair trade practices by Star Plus and Airtel.

    In the ‘Har Seat Hot Seat’ contest at the end of each episode of K.B.C., a question was flashed and viewers were asked to send the answers through S.M.S.es or through phone calls on Airtel or B.S.N.L. or M.T.N.L. An award of Rs 2 lakh was given to one person who gave correct answer through a lucky draw.

    The telecom service provider charged Rs 2.40 per message, higher than normal charge of Re 1.

    The Commission after going through records found that they received 58 million text messages and thereby collected Rs 13.92 crore from participants of H.S.H.S. contest. Out of that amount, prices worth of Rs 1.04 crore was distributed, leading to a gross profit of Rs 12.88 crore.

    They received a large amount of Rs 13.92 crore from S.M.S. messages. Further, the excess revenue came to Rs 8.12 crore as they received Rs 13.92 crore from 58 million messages at the rate of Rs 2.40, which at the normal rate would have yielded only Rs 5.92 crore, the Commission noted.

    Out of Rs 8.12 crore, they distributed prices amounting to Rs 1.04 crore. Still, the surplus revenue comes Rs 7.08 crore, it said.

    “If Re 1 is the normal charge per S.M.S., even then the total amount that would have been collected for 58 million S.M.Ses would be Rs 5.8 crore. So it is quite clear that at Rs 2.40 per S.M.S., the gross earning was far in excess of the cost of the prices offered,” the Commission said. The Commission rejected the plea of the companies which contended that they are charging the participants extra because of additional cost of specialist vendors and expensive software.

    “Both Airtel and Star Plus T.V. have been in the business of conducting such contests for long and it is the third avatar of the first K.B.C. In this set of the circumstances there is no question of value added service,” Commission said. (PTI)

  2. meeka

    meeka New Member

    the good thing is this has nothing to do with srk and the case is not against him

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