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Reliance Big TV taps Marathi theatre for content
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Reliance BIG TV, the DTH arm of Reliance ADA Group, announced a special Marathi showcase as a part of its aggressive bid to enhance market share in the Marathi-speaking pockets including the State of Maharashtra. This announcement is a part of Reliance Big TV’s strategy to drive subscriber acquisition through a localized content strategy. Reliance Big TV’s Marathi content strategy follows a three pronged approach:

Ø Acquire localized content by tapping Marathi theatre
Ø Create a special Marathi cinema showcase on its pay platform
Ø Launches specially designed Marathi Packages

One of Reliance Big TV’s key focus areas in content planning is to tap local Marathi theatre scene for its Marathi content portfolio. As part of this focused objective, Reliance Big TV has signed an agreement for the DTH rights of late Marathi playwright, Pu la Deshpande’s stage plays. The agreement allows Reliance Big TV to showcase the theatre works of the late Pu La Deshpande including his super-hit stage productions Nivadak Pula Deshpande - Volume 1 to 6, Batatyachi Chal, Pula Deshpande Ratnabhandar, Hasva Fasvi, Tee Phool Rani, Kusum Manohar Lele. These stage-plays will premiere on Reliance Big TV’s pay platform from March onwards. Tapping the Marathi theatre scene is one of the key focus areas of Reliance Big TV’s aim to offer a multi-dimension Marathi content experience to its subscribers.

The DTH right acquisition of Deshpande’s stage productions is part of Reliance Big TV’s effort to go beyond mere film-based content by offering a larger bandwidth of Marathi content including popular Marathi serials as well as Marathi live shows.

The company is also localizing its cinema offerings by tapping regional film industry. For Maharashtra, Reliance has launched a special Marathi cinema showcase on its pay platform. It has acquired the DTH rights of popular Marathi super-hits including Samantar, Paandhar, Housefull, Zapatlela, Aaplee Mansaa amongst others. These films will be showcased on its pay-per-view platform in February. These Marathi films will be priced at Rs 50 per 24-hour view-pass.

The special Marathi film showcase and the effort to tap Marathi theatre content is in line with Reliance Big TV’s long-term strategy to scale up its regional content portfolio by addressing the discerning choice of regional audiences in Maharashtra.

Reliance BIG TV has also launched a new Marathi package for its audience in Maharashtra. This package comprises four Marathi channels ETV Marathi, Zee Marathi, Star Pravah and Zee Talkies for a monthly subscription of Rs 5 only if selected as a first language. It has added a bouquet of Marathi channels like IBN Lokmat, Star Majha, DD Sahayadri and Mi Marathi to the base packs.

As part of its marketing initiative to promote its Marathi content, Reliance BIG TV has roped in Marathi actor Ajinkya Deo for its new TVC. The new TVC is on air across all TV channels. The TVC with Ajinkya Deo has been conceptualized by Ramesh Deo Productions delivering the joy of owning a Reliance Big TV DTH service.

Commenting on its Marathi content strategy, Mr. Umesh Rao, Chief Marketing Officer, Reliance Big TV said, "The idea behind creating a special Marathi showcase is to give our audiences in Maharashtra a world class TV viewing experience at a value-based price proposition. Through these special Marathi offerings, our subscribers will gain benefit of a plethora of local programming while continuing to enjoy their favourite Marathi channels. On the business front, a specially designed Marathi showcase makes strategic sense enabling us to enhance our regional yields in Maharashtra across multiple revenue windows."

The Company is investing nearly Rs 5 crore in its Marathi content showcase. The investment will be directed towards acquisition of niche Marathi content, marketing activities and consumer activation schemes. This is deemed as one of the largest investments made towards showcasing Marathi talent.

The Marathi content focus is key to Reliance BIG TV’s overall marketing strategy considering that Maharashtra comprises of nearly 20% of its overall customer base. The growth acceleration of subscriber additions in Maharashtra over the last two quarters has been over 25%. Moreover, the company’s ARPUs from Maharashtra are significantly higher at Rs 273/month in comparison to its national ARPU levels of Rs 235 to Rs 250 per month.

The localization move is in line with Reliance’s strategy to drive its regional penetration deeper in Tier II and Tier III geographies. The company is looking at generating over 40% of its overall subscriber base from these Tier 2 and Tier 3 geographies.

Source: afaqs!

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