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Former Walt Disney India MD Mahesh Samat to launch EPIC

Scheduled to go on air in August 2013, the segmented Hindi entertainment channel will offer genre-specific content related to history, folklore, mythology

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 16, 2013

Mahesh Samat

Epic Television Networks, led by Mahesh Samat, former MD of Walt Disney India, has announced the launch of ‘EPIC’, India’s first genre specific Hindi entertainment channel that will offer content set against the backdrop of Indian history, folklore and mythology in a unique contemporary format. EPIC is expected to go on air in August 2013, subject to regulatory approval.

The launch of EPIC is a significant milestone in the Indian media landscape as it pioneers the opening of a new category in Hindi entertainment termed as ‘segmented’. A ‘segmented’ category in television presents thematic content that is focused on a particular genre, thereby offering increased choice and different viewing opportunities.

Internationally, with increasing audience fragmentation, broadcasters are creating and distributing genre-specific content to attract a clearly defined target audience. As a result, television content globally is witnessing a growing wealth of viewing opportunities for consumers across diverse genres such as comedy, action, crime, etc.

EPIC will celebrate India’s heritage by creating unique and original content within the Indian history, folklore and mythology genre, using a very contemporary story telling format. This will be a first of its kind channel, which will present a distinct choice to audiences by offering content in a specific genre. EPIC is the only channel that will have all its shows shot from an HD camera since inception. Currently, there are 72 million digital households and this is expected to grow to 179 million by 2017. The full HD channel is planned to be made available on all DTH and digital platforms across all major markets in India and will attempt to reach out to all digital households in the launch phase.

Samat, Managing Director, Epic Television Network, said, “In India, multiplexes changed the movie viewing experience where one could actually pick and choose the movie one wants to see. A family could watch different content based on their individual interests. With digitisation, we believe that there is an opportunity for 'multiplexing' television, where viewers have the choice to consume genre-specific content of their liking. EPIC will be a first of its kind segmented channel in the Hindi entertainment category, offering a compelling and modern take on Indian history and mythology. Our vision is to create a brand in television that will translate our vibrant past into entertainment with the objective of creating new IPs, strong characters and new heroes that strike a chord with mass audiences.”

EPIC will have action, drama, comedy, supernatural and narrative non-fiction content, set against Indian historic and mythological eras. The stories will be innovative with high production quality and a distinct look & feel that will appeal to both men and women. EPIC will be the only channel to have shot at real locations in HD. Many well-known production houseswill be producing shows for the channel. The programming strategy will contain a mix of fiction shows, narrative non-fiction shows, short form content as well as films at launch.

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