All three channels under Big CBS — the joint venture (JV) between Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) and CBS Studios International — are on air with the launch of Big CBS Spark on May 2. The company is expected to launch more channels in subsequent quarters, including those under the JV with RTL.

RBNL estimates it will cost Rs 25 crore in FY-2012 to promote its channels. The three channels on air as part of Big CBS — Prime, Love and Spark — are all focused on urban audiences.

Speaking to Business Line , Mr Anand Chakravarthy, Marketing Head, RBNL, said, “Spark is focused on the youth and we will back the launch with a promotional blast spread over 45 days. We're allocating about Rs 6 crore for the launch promotions. There will also be a lot of sustenance and cross promotions on other RBNL platforms.”

The network will also engage in ‘extensive' social media marketing on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, besides promotions on other group platforms like Big FM, Big Street, Reliance Worlds, Big Cinemas, Zapak and Big Flix.

Young, urban, upmarket TG

Prime is a general entertainment channel with a male skew, focused on a male audience between 15 to 35 years of age. Love addresses both men and women in the bracket of 25 to 35 years, but the content is ‘softer' with a skew towards women (Oprah Winfrey included).

Spark is being billed as ‘India's first international youth entertainment channel'. Focused on the 15 to 25-year-old urban youth, it is expected to help RBNL offer a compelling bouquet for advertisers targeting young urban audiences who look for English entertainment.

On Tata Sky, soon

RBNL also launched a Hindi ‘variety' entertainment channel targeted at the Hindi heartlands in early April. The channel is distributed only in the identified markets of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

For distribution, the network has tie ups with multi system operators (MSOs) across the country such as Hathway, Incable, Den and SCV, and is also available on most DTH service providers' bouquets. Tata Sky and Dish TV do not carry the Big CBS channels yet.

“Our target audiences for the three CBS channels are largely in the metros and we already have a robust distribution in place. In the case of Tata Sky, we have active engagement with them and should soon be available on Tata Sky. Currently, we understand that there are some bandwidth issues,” explained Mr Chakravarthy.