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General News Discovery launching Hindi GEC in Q4, re-brands ID as Discovery Jeet
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MUMBAI: GEC seems to be the its new Discovery. It's been just three months into the launch of DSport, a new sports channel from the network, and Discovery Communication plans to roll out an entertainment channel in India -- Discovery Jeet. The channel, which (already) means triumph in Hindi, is slated for opening in Q4.

“The core thought of the channel the way we are defining the brand purpose is ‘ I can do anything’ so it's a feeling of energy and inspiration. In the end people will take away that feeling from our programming. Jeet is good name to describe the feeling of victory, inspiration and energy,” said Discovery Network Asia Pacific South Asia SVP and GM Karan Bajaj.

This is not the first time Discovery Communication India has entered into Hindi entertainment space. ID (Investigation Discovery) offered compelling true stories of investigation, crime and suspense promising intriguing twist and turns that culminate into thrilling conclusions. The network has rebranded its existing channel ID as Discovery Jeet. “We are transforming ID into Discovery Jeet. We are keeping the same channel feed and just creating a new proposition, informed Bajaj.

Discovery Networks Asia Pacific president and MD Arthur Bastings further elaborated on the importance of this evolutionary step, leveraging new ways to extend the reach and relevance of Discovery across the subcontinent. “The expansion into general entertainment with Jeet redefines how Discovery will connect and interact with new young audiences across the heartlands of India. Jeet is fun, relatable, and exciting and brings to life the captivating, real stories of India’s own in a manner never seen before.”

The new channel will be the flagship for the network’s ambitious investment into original local productions in India, super serving superfans and nurturing communities around a range of programme genres including true crime investigations, small-town heroes and gritty survival. “We are borrowing the best of the Discovery’s meaning and purpose and we are bringing a local version of that which is highly entertaining and mounted in a way like the entertaining stories are mounted in India, larger-than life, big conflicts, drama and attention and we are mounting on that scale,”Bajaj added.

Discovery is scaling up investment in over 200 hours of local content originals which will premiere on the new channel. Targeting young male audiences, (not just in the metros, but also in tier II and tier III cities) Discovery Jeet will be a highly-charged entertainment channel, immersing viewers in a world where gripping stories, heroic characters and tales of achievement are the status quo. Bajaj informed, “If we look at the last ten years we haven't done more than 7-8 hours of original programming a year. We are planning to launch the launch this fall with 200 hours of content. So it's like a move from a company did an average of 7-10 hours in a year to 200 hours in just one quarter. So that's like a very significant move that require us to set up a entire infrastructure . we are not in an established local content production or factory so we are setting up a entire infrastructure to do that.”

“When we were commissioning the content, we were very clear that we are rejecting anything doesn't have a seed of meaning and purpose to it and on the other hand we are also rejecting which is not larger than life. It's not a documentary based channel it's a storytelling channel,” he asserted.

Discovery Jeet will hit screens later this year with a vibrant programming lineup that will include, Swami Baba Ramdev: The Untold Story, a scripted biopic series tracing Swami Baba Ramdev’s fascinating and inspirational journey from a life of anonymity to national icon, international cult figure and now business mogul; Saragarhi - India’s Bravest Day, a large-scale, action-packed, scripted drama series about one of the greatest, yet largely uncelebrated, last stands in Indian military history; Gabru: The Birth of Hip Hop, a scripted series on the Rap & Hip Hop revolution that has taken India by storm, from the far ends of Punjab to the slums of Mumbai; Gangs of Mumbai, a scripted series on the colourful, larger-than-life characters from the thriving underworld of India’s maximum city.

“The overall thought is purpose driven entertainment blurring the lines between facts and fiction. So if I look at the launch shows we have Baba Ramdev- untold story , tracing his journey from childhood till today. Its mounted as a GEC show. It will be a 65 episodes show, monday to friday daily half an hour show. The prime time will be 7- 11pm and it will have two hours of original programming. We have Gangs of Mumbai, 1971- the birth of the nation, Gabru - the birth of hip hop in India. We are not just doing biopic but we are creating stories which are larger than life and entertaining. Contiloe, Ajay Devgan production house, most of the TV producers some of the film producers like Rohan Sippy is directing a show named Khan, number one crime hunter.”

Discovery is known for its factual entertainment, speaking about the why the new GEC will not impact the mother channel, Bajaj explained, “Discovery will remain Discovery and we are launching a new channel called Discovery Jeet. Position of Discovery is ‘Life without limits’ which is different from Jeet. It's a consumer product model where you have a mega brand and extension of mega brand. Discovery is target to metro tier I consumer and who is very globally savvy while Discovery jeet is for the mass market consumer.”

He further added, “The brands become more and more well penetrated overall, Discovery will be very fresh, we are not taking content away from here and putting on Jeet. It's a fresh and exciting proposition. I think we will continue to be the infotainment leader. The quality is getting better from global pipeline overall. While Jeet is completely homegrown proposition.”

Speaking about the execution for the plan, he said, “We have been unforgiven in the term of nature of storytelling and production quality of it. TV content success rate is 20 to 25 per cent, it's not a proven model that it will always work and we are trying a new and disruptive model. We believe that based on our research, this country is hungry for dreaming and inspiration and we are bringing all that in Discovery Jeet. It is as mainstream as anything else. At a content level we will give a very powerful stories experience that touches your heart.”

The channel will be launched in SD feed followed by HD feed going forward. The network will be available across DTH and cable platforms. Also has the regressive market plan. “ The channel will be distributed very widely across 100 millions plus households. So the marketing plan is made to aware lot of people about the brand.”

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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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