Discovery Communications is launching its own Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Jeet in order to fill in the white gap amongst audience.
âWe donât want to add noise to TV. We wanted to do something that has a purpose. With a mass product like Jeet, we want to meet a burning consumer need, especially in tier II towns,â said Karan Bajaj, Senior Vice-President and General Manager- South Asia, Discovery Communications India.
To be launched on February 12, 2018, Discovery Jeet is built on the ethos of âHai Mumkinâ. Right from the start, the channel will be available on all leading DTH and cable platforms across the country. Discovery Communications India (DCIN) has signed Netflix as the exclusive global OTT platform partner for the content of Discovery Jeet. The deal will ensure that Discovery Jeetâs marquee content will be available to audiences in more than 190 countries world-wide. Netflix communities globally will be able to binge-watch each series after it is aired on the Discovery Jeet channel in India.
On partnering with Netflix, Bajaj said, âOne reason is that from a long term perspective, the philosophy of differentiated content matches between Netflix and us. Another reason is their global reach.â
The channel is launching with five hours of original programming every day, of which Anjan and Man vs Wild are one hour while the rest are half an hour show on the weekdays, focusing on about five hours of primetime programming, 7pm-12am. On the weekends, Comedy High School and Khan No. 1 will be making up for a two hour evening primetime.
âIt is heartening to note that the content slate for Discovery Jeet is attracting so much interest and attention even before the channel is on air. With Jeetâs new home on Netflix, more audiences will be able to enjoy captivating stories with a distinct Indian flavor across more screens and devices than ever before,â added Bajaj.
With an aim to be Indiaâs first national GEC, Discovery Jeet will be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. When asked if Bajaj is expecting the channel to become one of the top gainers and how, he added, âStrong marketing, good product and steady distribution are the three guns that need to fire at the same time for any channel to work.â
Adding further about the channelâs marketing plans, Bajaj said, âMarketing will be very aggressive. We are starting digital promos first and by around January 25, there will be blanket marketing plan covering as much as it can.â
Staying true to its core thesis of underdog winning, Discovery Jeetâs marketing campaign will focus on the key tentpole properties âSwami Ramdev: Ek Sangharshâ, â21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897â and âMere Papa Hero Hiralalâ capturing the insurmountable odds that the protagonists had to overcome in their lives to achieve success.
Sameer Rao, VP-Head of Mass Entertainment-South Asia, Discovery Communications India, said, âDiscovery Jeetâs differentiation comes from our lineup of dramatic, compelling stories of real, relatable characters presented in a cinematic, larger than life format. Discovery Jeet signifies the verve of todayâs generation who is optimistic and aspirational in seeking a better future for themselves and their family. It is a representation of a strong emotion of âhai mumkinâ which is palpable in tier II and III towns across the country.â
Advertising is still a major source of revenue for the television channels. However, Bajaj is not going pushy with signing up advertisers. He said, âWe have tremendous advertiser interest, but we are not very hasty in signing on, because we will get the best fitting advertisers on the channel. The ad sales strategy is premium mass content and there is a dedicated Jeet team for ad sales. The way a GEC is sold is very different from the other channels that we have in our bouquet. Also, the difference lies in the types of audience that these channels cater to. There is no bundled deals.â
The channel is also looking at syndication soon becoming a strong revenue stream, though not so soon. The channel is in demand but Bajaj wants to wait till the launch, since the interest and value of the content increases. Discovery Jeet as a whole channel will go for selling in other markets.