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Interview: Nikhil Gandhi, Business Head, UTV STARS

Gandhi shares his preparation for the launch of The Official Channel of Bollywood; read the full excerpts.

Entertainment has always been a serious business for UTV Group and it has significant presence in Bollywood. Besides, the company’s broadcasting arm, which operates 5 channels, has set several benchmarks in creating television content. Now combining both the strengths, the Group is all set to launch its Bollywood entertainment channel UTV STARS on 14th August 2011. got hold of the Business Head of UTV STARS Nikhil Gandhi to discuss about his preparation for the launch. Read the full excerpts:

Q) What will be the proposition of the channel?

UTV STARS is entering into the genre with the tagline ‘The Official Channel of Bollywood’ which gives us the strength to stand out from the clutter through our differentiated content line-up and programming. The channel is primarily targeted at urban Indian youth and is being established as a 360 degree brand that is present across various platforms such as TV, Web, Mobile and On Ground.

Q) UTV is one of the leading production houses in Bollywood. How much is this going to help the channel?

Our 6 years of leadership in film production gives us the easiest access to the film stars which will always give us an edge in terms of best of the content. Coupled with this, our strong hold in broadcasting business makes a successful combination.

Q) Do you think there is much space in a small genre?

With the entry of a good player, any genre is bound to grow and Bollywood entertainment has a huge potential to expand.

Q) How would UTV STARS be different from other existing players?

Look and feel, programming and packaging, quick and significant content will be the main differentiator. In keeping with the latest technology trends, UTV STARS is a high definition (HD) channel, thereby enhancing the viewer’s overall television viewing experience.

Q) How have you planned your distribution?

Besides the extensive presence on the analog across Hindi speaking markets in the country, the channel is launching on a couple of DTH platforms. We have the aim to make the channel available on all the DTH and analog platforms. The channel will soon foray into the UK, US, Europe and UAE markets.

Q) How soon do you expect to attain the breakeven for the channel?

While any mass media may take time to reach the breakeven, we have our aggressive revenue strategy in place. Being a paid channel, we expect a huge chunk of revenue from the distribution of the channel. At the same time, the initial response from the advertisers is quite encouraging.

Q) What are the marketing plans to support the launch?

The launch of the channel will be supported by 360 degree marketing campaign with a focus on television, print and outdoor campaigns. The television campaign created by our creative agency Taproot India will break in the first week of August. The entire media plan is being executed by our media agency GroupM.

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