Reliance Broadcast joint venture plans to tap regional markets

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on October 29, 2012 Published on October 29, 2012

Tarun Katial

Tarun Katial, CEO of Reliance Broadcast, is gearing up for action. Reliance Broadcast Network, which had announced a joint venture with the RTL Group, Europe’s largest media company and part of the Bertelsmann Group, will launch its first channel in India, called Big RTL Thrill, in Uttar Pradesh.

With regional markets set to take prominence for the company, the action channel, aimed at men, will have international content dubbed in Hindi.

“There are very few media options for men in the country today in the Hindi entertainment and action category, except for news and seasonal sports. Action and thriller shows are an under-served genre when it comes to regional channels,” said Katial.

He added, “It is very mainstream, the content is not niche. It is targeted at the lowest common denominator. We want to stay in that space.”

Stating that UP, Bihar and MP had seen rapid development, Katial noted, “From a media owner’s point of view, these markets are a virgin territory as compared to the mature markets in the South.”

Maintaining that, “Though the value markets are currently skewed towards the West and South, the volume market is in the North and East,” Katial said.

The choice of the State to kick-start operations was natural, he said, since statistics and entertainment preference mapping have also indicated a heavy appetite for action content in the market.

Statistics show that action sports such as wrestling have 20 per cent higher viewership in Uttar Pradesh, compared to the all- India average. “Given the fact that it is a high potential, mild competition market, and as we are already in the category with Big FM and Big Magic, it strengthens our local offering,” he added.

Reliance Broadcast has seven channels including Big CBS Prime, Love, Spark, Spark Punjabi, Big Magic and Bloomberg TV India

The channel is going for an aggressive marketing campaign with spends in the range of Rs 10 crore in the region alone.

After the launch in Uttar Pradesh, a phased expansion to other Hindi-speaking markets is on the anvil.

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Published on October 29, 2012
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