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History TV18 seeks new avatar with 50% local content

The first in the string of local productions will be the launch of ‘OMG Yeh Mera India’ with standup comedian Krushna Abhishek. The channel is aiming at being a mainstream entertainment channel rather than a niche channel

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | March 8, 2016

history-newHaving realised the increasing consumption of the genre by non-metro audiences, History TV18, the factual entertainment channel of TV18 network, has decided to have about 50 per cent of local programming in its total on-air content. Starting off with ‘OMG Yeh Mera India’, the channel is aiming at being a mainstream entertainment channel rather than a niche channel.

The channel has planned to launch close to ten shows this year, of which four will be launched in the next three to six months. All of this content will be Indian catering to mainly the non-urban audience. However, the yield of such regional content is high in the urban and metro markets, too, according to Sangeetha Aiyer, Vice-president and Head Marketing, A+E Networks TV18.

Out of all the sub-genres telecast within the genre, History TV18 aims at focusing on select ones including core history, action and adventure, core factual, artifactual history and special programmes in the financial year ending March 2017. The channel has consciously evaluated how about 25 per cent of the NCCS A audience comes from rural India which also has about 28 per cent of NCCS B audience.

Sangeetha Aiyer Sangeetha Aiyer

“We are working on creating more Indianised content in the action and adventure genre amongst others. There is a series planned for May, which is based on deadliest jobs in India. We are also looking at format adaptations as we are exploring an Indian version of Pawn Stars,” informed Aiyer.

The new content is expected to shoot production costs up by 30 per cent. The content will be produced in Hindi and dubbed in other languages like Tamil, Telugu and Bengali. The channel has done an in-depth research on the digital medium to evaluate what the audience wants. “We have captured the trends appealing to the younger audiences as we generally define the target audience to be within NCCS AB 15 + to the brand and advertisers,” added Aiyer.

She clarified that it is “not a reactive or competitive step” against other players in the factual entertainment genre. “History TV18 is looking at what will benefit them by evaluating previous performance,” she said.

The channel went to 14 cities including tier 2 markets like Warangal and Ambala as part of the qualitative research. It is looking at increasing the time spent by the viewer which stands at 23 to 24 minutes on an average. According to BARC numbers, foreign content garners about four to six minutes average time spent against double the time for local shows.

As for the upcoming ‘OMG Yeh Mera India’, the channel has planned three back-to-back premieres on March 10, at 8 PM, 8.30 PM and 10.30 PM. The channel has chosen actor-comedian Krushna Abhishek to reinstate the ‘mainstream’ entertainment quotient in the channel. Along with this, Krushna’s mass appeal and engaging nature has also prompted his selection. The channel is aiming at getting one presenting sponsor, one powered by sponsor and four associate sponsors. A premium rate is expected on the property and the sponsors will be sealed in the next one week.

The show focuses on bringing varied and unusual facts about India. The last episode of the show will be crowd-sourced by asking the audience to tell the channel about the unusual facts in their surroundings.

Aiyer explained, “While India related content exists in the genre, the key differentiator for History TV18 is that we plan to create a lasting India franchises through our shows which is a first of sorts for our category.”

Among earlier productions, the channel has had three Indian properties including ‘Greatest Indian’, ‘Bollywood@100’ and ‘Vital Stats of India’.

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