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Viacom18’s Rishtey sharpens focus on UK & US; expands footprint in APAC & MENA

Rishtey has been rebranded as Rishtey Europe in the UK and Rishtey Americas in the US, while Rishtey Asia has been launched across 20 countries to firm up the channel’s localisation plans

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | September 15, 2015


Viacom18 has announced the rebranding of its Hindi entertainment channel Rishtey in the UK and the US to Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas, respectively. The network has also announced the launch of Rishtey Asia for viewers in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Rishtey Asia will cater to the evolving needs of viewers in the APAC and MENA regions through a content line-up comprising multi-cultural shows from India, Pakistan and Turkey. Rishtey Asia is now being beamed to households across 20 countries in the region.

Strategies after rebranding

Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas will now bring a fresh range of content across genres and cultural diversities. The content line-up includes young love stories like ‘Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan’, award winning Turkish drama ‘Pabband Ishq’, period drama ‘Siyaasat’, and Pakistani show ‘Nail Polish’. The channel will also offer kids’ content like ‘Luv Kush’ and ‘Krishna Balram’, giving viewers a flavour of Indian mythology. Bollywood blockbusters also form a significant part of the content line-up for Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas.

Raj Nayak Raj Nayak

Commenting on the rebranding, Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors & Rishtey, said, “Since its inception in 2012, Rishtey as a brand has adapted its content to suit regional viewer preferences, which has struck a favourable chord in the UK, the US and Canada. We are confident that the new content line-up will appeal to our regional viewers in the respective markets and further add to the success of the channels, given the widespread appeal across-age groups. We believe that the time is right for us to elevate the positioning and programming line-up of Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas.”

Anuj Gandhi Anuj Gandhi

Commenting on the revamp of the programming mix, Anuj Gandhi, Group CEO, IndiaCast, said, “Through the rebranding exercise we have carefully aggregated a diverse programming line-up across genres, bringing together an eclectic mix of shows not only from the Viacom18 bouquet of offerings, but also syndicated from broadcasters across the globe. We are confident that geo-targeting the content for Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas will enable us to further engage with our viewers.”

Rishtey Europe is currently available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin, Freesat and leading OTT platforms. Rishtey Americas is currently available on Dish and Sling in the US, Flow in the Caribbean region (Trinidad & Tobago) and Bell and Rogers in Canada.

Expansion plans

Nayak remarked, “Since its launch, Rishtey has been steadily going up the popularity charts across the world. As Rishtey expands its footprint in Asia, we are happy to see the brand strengthen its position in other regions. We are confident that the content will appeal to Rishtey Asia’s viewers in the new regions and tug at their heartstrings as much as it has resonated in India.”

Gandhi added here, “After receiving an encouraging response from viewers in the UK and the US, we are now looking at expanding our reach in the APAC, Middle East and Africa regions. Rishtey Asia is a wholesome entertainment channel which connects everyone in the family, making it a preferred entertainment destination for viewers. With the channel now being available across 20 countries, we are strengthening our ties with distribution networks to engage with a larger audience segment.”

Speaking about the channel and its commitment, Sachin Gokhale, Business Head - Middle East & Africa, IndiaCast, said, “We have thoroughly studied the content need gaps existing in the South Asian TV space in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions, and through Rishtey have created a unique channel with carefully handpicked content that will fill those gaps. The channel has carefully put together the best content across various genres ranging from drama, lifestyle and kids to youth and blockbuster Hindi movies, giving the discerning viewer access to new and exciting content options. Our content is conducive to creative marketing campaigns and through the insights provided by our research team we hope to mobilise and engage audiences online and offline.”

In Australia and New Zealand, Rishtey Asia will be available on Vision Asia (NZ), Yupp TV USA Inc, and Lebara Media Services. The channel also be available on Etisalat, Du and Yupp TV in the Middle East; Azam TV, Space TV and Mauritius Telecom in Africa; Digital System of Nepal; and Scan International Company in Thailand.

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