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Help BIG looks to weave magic
Reliance Broadcast Network has launched its Hindi channel, BIG MAGIC, targeted at the Hindi-speaking belt of India. In less than three months of acquiring Imagine Showbiz from Cinestar Advertising, it has relaunched the channel after branding it. Unlike other Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs), BIG MAGIC would not look at a general spread but more at regional entertainment. Reliance Broadcast Network CEO Tarun Katial says the Hindi regional entertainment space is uncluttered, with traditional GECs and Hindi movie channels doing well in this belt.

“That leaves scope for light entertainment channels to make their mark,” says Katial. The success of channels such as Sab TV and shows such as Takeshi’s Castle on Pogo among all generations of viewers also supports its view. The programmes on BIG MAGIC will span humour, Bollywood and music. It will join its two existing channels, BIG CBS Prime and BIG CBS Love — English channels airing content of its joint-venture partner CBS.

The target markets of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh already boast of the company’s FM radio station, BIG FM and cinema theatre chain, BIG Cinemas. Its 11 radio stations reach 2.2 million people each week in the region.

Katial says, “We lead in radio in some of these markets and have a clear understanding of listener habits such as the scheduling of music, the brand of humour, language nuances and tone of communication.” He points out that the greater preference for retro-Hindi music over contemporary music in these markets is an insight the channel will incorporate.

Light entertainment allows Reliance Broadcast Network to enter the Hindi entertainment space without significant investments in elaborate production. The channel will be aired in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and geared to reach 10 million households, according to BIG. A placement on the S-band will make sure it sits with the leading Hindi GECs.

The Hindi-belt being targeted by BIG MAGIC accounts for Rs 1,200 crore of ad spends on TV, according to AdEx India (2009 report), the ad monitoring research agency and a division of TAM Media Research. The company also plans to cross-leverage programme formats between radio and TV, starting with radio shows such as ‘Big 30’, which will be aired on the channel as well. It would enable Reliance Broadcast Network to bundle not just different media for advertisers (radio, TV, out-of-home) but also different content properties for a more rounded and cost-effective advertising rate. For viewers too, it will underline the BIG brand name through cross-promotions and on-ground activities.


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