How History TV18's “OMG Ye Mera India” is catering to the country's growing demand for original factual entertainment content caught up with Avinash Kaul, Managing Director, A+E Networks | TV18 and CEO-Broadcast for Network18, to talk about the growth prospects of the “OMG Ye Mera India” show and how it fulfils the content needs of original Indian factual entertainment

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How History TV18's “OMG Ye Mera India” is catering to the country's growing demand for original factual entertainment content

To quench the thirst for original Indian factual and entertaining content of the audience, History TV18 is coming back with season 8 of OMG Ye Mera India on January 24, 2022, at 8 pm, hosted by Krushna Abhishek. For the second time in a row, the show has onboarded Byju’s as its Presenting Sponsors. The ten, half-hour episodes will showcase stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the greater good with the passion and zeal to push boundaries.

Avinash Kaul

Spilling beans about how Season 8 of OMG would be different from earlier seasons, Avinash Kaul, Managing Director, A+E Networks | TV18 and CEO-Broadcast for Network18, said, “In earlier seasons, we showcased individual achievements. In this season, we have consciously curated stories that also have an impact on society. In season 8, one would get to see stories of people who are working in the field of environment conversation, sustainable development or are working towards bringing about societal changes.”

The episodes showcase stories of people like 23-year-old Adil Teli from Kashmir who battled the elements and pushed the limits of his own endurance to complete a quest on bicycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in record time.

In another episode, the show features a pilot from Mumbai who developed an eco-friendly, folding bicycle using bamboo. There are also one-of-a-kind stories that must be told, like that of Piplantri village in Rajasthan, where 111 trees are planted for every girl child born.

In its new edition, the show also presents stories of gobsmacking inventiveness, like the wooden cube designed in Faridabad, Haryana that transforms into 14 different kinds of furniture! The new season is a showcase and a celebration of India and the incredible talents and ingenuity of its people, who make even the impossible seem plausible.

Pointing out how the show is a differentiator, Kaul said that while India has several reality shows on GECs, there was a visible need for original Indian factual entertainment content, which became the perfect opportunity for us to launch a show like this. He said, “Before we launched the show, factual entertainment content had always been about syndicating international content that would just get played out and which may or may not resonate with Indian audiences. We were among the initial movers into factual entertainment content creation.” 

Generally, channels launch a single season based on such concepts, but with OMG in its eighth season, Kaul believes the show has set high benchmarks as both advertisers and the audience resonate with the show’s content. 

Talking about how the show fits with the channel’s positioning, Kaul said, “Indians make history every day. History is not only about what happened in the past. History is something you and I are creating every day. The idea of the show is to capture the journeys of extraordinary individuals in India who are actually creating history every single day. These stories do get shared in the news every now and then on an ad-hoc basis, but there wasn’t a full-fledged show that would do justice to such stories before OMG.” 

Kaul told that through the seven seasons, and 280 stories so far, the show has managed to garner 17-crore unduplicated audience on TV and over five billion social media engagements. 

Along with its own social media platforms and through syndication on other TV channels internationally, the show will also be showcased on Discovery+. “Most of the top 10 shows on Discovery+ are from HistoryTV18. The traction we get from there is huge, which depicts how the audience is also evolving with more people looking for meaningful factual entertainment content,” commented Kaul. 

With the evolution of audience content preferences and regulation of content on OTT, Kaul said that the market for original factual entertainment content is only going to increase on Indian OTT platforms. “While globally there is a lot of factual entertainment content available, not much of it is created by Indian OTT players. Therefore, we also look forward to partnering with some of the platforms in creating original content for them,” he added.

For two years, the channel hasn’t been able to revise its ad rates for its various shows due to the impact of Covid, but Kaul is hopeful that with the economy stabilising and the current Covid situation coming under control, the channel will be able to produce more original content and eventually be able to charge a premium in coming times. 

Talking about the channel’s plan for the year, Kaul said that they will be creating more original content this year as production schedules are not getting hampered due to the current Covid-19 wave.

History TV18 OMG Ye Mera India