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FICCI Frames 2013: Breaking the barrier between local and global

Content is still king, and Viacom 18’s push into the non-English space with foreign content has helped break down barriers

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 13, 2013

In the session at FICCI Frames 2013 on Day 1 on “Breaking the barrier between the local and global”, the focus shifted to regional play with Sai Kumar, President and CEO, Network 18 and Board Member, Viacom 18, and Robert Bakish, President and CEO, Viacom 18 International Media Networks and Board Member, Viacom 18, holding forth.

Sai Kumar said, "Success is a very strange thing. TV18 and Vaicom18 both believe that India is a dynamic market. We have pride to say that we saw a dynamic market and a big opportunity into multi-geography and platform distribution. Viacom18 started its broadcast venture with four channels until they realised that they need to enter the regional space as well.”

He added, “The company had great success with Colors and the venture has flourished and evolved with changing markets including MTV, Nickelodeon and others. They also entered into film production and multi channel networks.”

Robert Bakish said, "We also brought in content from the UK and the US and our main IP has been content creation in the Indian media market. Content travelling from other countries, such as Fear Factor, seems to be evolving. There have tremendous changes in content for the past 10 years.”

Sai Kumar said, “It takes me back when I once said 'Content is King’. Already monetisation of television content is at its best. Today again I stand by the same thought that 'content is king'".

Additionally, distribution is also improving due to the tough advertising market. "Advertising has been the softest for the longest time and the pressure from digital has amplified," Sai added.

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