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I Regret Selling SAB TV To Sony: Markand Adhikari

Markand Adhikari

Vice Chairman and MD, SAB Group

In India, music and comedy can never be the wrong genre to garner the eyeballs. Recently launched music channel Mastiii has proved it. Within six weeks of its launch, Mastiii had 16.5 GRPs in the CS15+ group (SEC A,B,C) across HSM as per the TAM data for week 33, Leaving behind the establish players like MTV, B4U Music and 9xm.

Rajat Arora of BestMediaInfo.com recently spoke to SAB Group’s Vice Chairman and MD, Markand Adhikari to know his future plans for the channel. Adhikari calls Mastiii an electronic radio. Mastiii offers 24 hours of non-stop music and comedy, targeting everyone with a sense of humour. The programming of channel comprises of 75% of music and 25% of comedy.

Q) At the very outset, congratulations! for the phenomenal response to Mastiii. What has been the driving force for the channel?

It is novelty of the concept which has worked for the channel. The music and entertainment space was too cluttered and it was very important for us to come up with something which could refresh the viewer without consuming too much of his time.  And what could have worked better than the combination of music and comedy in India.

Q) Is Mastiii another SAB TV in the making?

SAB was one of its kinds and Mastii would also create a distinct category in coming months. Anything interested works with the audience in India and especially when it is music and comedy. With SAB we wanted to create a channel with light and humorous programming and we did it quite well so there was no need to launch something like SAB again. With Mastiii we wanted to give audience a fun channel and the initial results of channel shows that we’ve fared quite well in this task too.

Q) what is the category of audience you are targeting with Mastiii?

It is the channel for every one. Mastiii promises to be a music destination catering to audiences between 6-60 years. The channel offers music, generously interspersed with humour elements.

Q) what has been the strategy behind distribution of the channel?

We have signed deals with almost all the MSOs (multi-system-operators) for carriage of the channel. We have over 90 per cent presence. We wanted the channel to have a strong presence in the rural parts of the country and with this we are reaching the deep pockets of India.

Q) How much has been the investment behind the launch of the channel?

The investment has been between Rs 75 -100 crores. And with the current response we expect to reach break even point in two years.

Q) Do you plan to make Mastiii a paid channel?

It would be hard for us to survive as free to air channel for a long time. Within one year we plan to make Mastii a paid channel. The channel is catching the nerve of the audience and we hope that trend will continue.

Q) Do you regret selling SAB TV to Sony?

Yes, I do regret. But the situations keep on changing. The circumstances at that time forced us to sell the channel. We have learnt from the sour experience and this has made us more mature in our approach. With SAB TV we created a sort of revolution on Indian TV and with Mastiii too we plan to repeat the same magic.

Q) What are you doing to pump Mastiii with more energy?

We have strong team of comedians like Raju Srivastava, Sunil Pal and Suresh Menon. We have also got famous comedian Ehsaan Quereshi on board. As KBC starts on TV, we will have ABC (Ab Bakwaas Chaloo) with Raju Shrivastava taking off on Mastiii, which would be a sort of spoof. So there’s lot of interesting content coming on Mastiii and we’ll keep innovating frequently.

Q) Can we see another channel coming up in future from the house of Sri Adhikari Brothers?

Well, we are keeping all options open. We are contemplating; meanwhile, if anything interesting comes up we’ll definitely take it ahead.


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Comments (2)
  • Tweets that- 10 years ago

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BestMediaInfo.com, BestMediaInfo.com. BestMediaInfo.com said: I Regret Selling SAB TV To Sony: Markand Adhikari http://fb.me/GgDJtTlr [...]

  • Kishore Kum- 10 years ago

    There is huge potential in indian market,for humor and music,split content in to categories, then penetrate the market as idol then identity for uniq,mix of all programe content works only in rural markets,now the people migrating to urban life styles, so this is very important,catch eyeballs of the individuals.