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Will penetrate deeper into pay TV market via original and differentiated content, says Dangal TV's Prashant Bhatt

In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, the Programming Head of Dangal TV talks about the channel’s content strategy and discusses the channel’s focus on original programming

Prashant Bhatt

As competition in the general entertainment space (GEC) genre continues to intensify, Dangal TV has continuously been launching new shows to cater to the entertainment needs of the audience.

Speaking about the channel’s content strategy, Prashant Bhatt, Programming Head, Dangal TV, said, “Going forward, the strategy is going to completely shift towards originals. We believe Dangal has now penetrated homes and hearts, and with the kind of feedback that we have been getting from our viewer base, there is definitely this thirst and hunger for newer and fresher content. So keeping this in mind, the strategy is to come up with new originals and differentiated content.” 

“We realise it's a tough market. The question is what do we actually get to the viewers with which they are already not satiated? Dangal basically fills in that particular void. The stories offered to the people are from the land of the people so they can resonate more. They are far more realistic, far more relevant today to today's times,” he added. 

According to Bhatt, Dangal TV has penetrated the pay market as well. “We've come to a point where Dangal has started penetrating the pay market as well. The pay market definitely has already sampled a lot of their content in the last couple of years. So it would be actually, in a way, depriving the pay market of original content if we keep on showing reruns of successful shows. Having said that, we definitely would be open to showing a very popular show from the last couple of years if need be. But as of now things are looking optimistic and the focus is on originals.” 

The channel is all set to launch a new original show, ‘Prem Bandhan’, on November 30. Speaking about the show, Bhatt said it is about a small-town girl whose life changes drastically. “Life changes drastically for her. From a very social lens, it's a completely enviable turn that her life has had but it looks too good to be true. And when something is too good to be true, there is something that is actually a red flag,” he added. 

Vishesh Verma

Speaking about the marketing of the show, Vishesh Verma, Head - Marketing and Communications, Enterr10 Television, said they are looking for an extensive marketing strategy to promote the show.

“At this point in time, this is one of the biggest shows that is coming on the network, and we are looking at a very extensive promotional strategy. We are going out of the network. We are looking at print, we are looking at social and digital platforms. Along with that, we are using the network’s strength, which is the most important thing. We are completely taking our network’s support to promote the show.” 

The show will be simulcast across the network’s channels for viewers to sample it on November 30. 

The show has been made in partnership with Balaji Telefilms, which marks the channel’s first association with the production house. Speaking about the experience, Bhatt said, “I've been lucky enough to work with production houses that are well known to deliver in terms of quality and content, be it Shashi Film Productions or the Swastik Productions. Obviously, Balaji Telefilms takes the Kohinoor and the entire crown. We all know Balaji's reputation here. This is Balaji’s first collaboration with Dangal TV. Ekta and Balaji Telefilms have gone beyond what is actually expected from a production house to make sure we don't leave any stone unturned in terms of content, in terms of the production, the look, feel and casting. It's all been top-notch and they have left no room for any kind of minor complaints.” 

Asked about competition in the space, as other channels have had long-running shows to build loyalty among viewers, Bhatt said even if a premium network launches new shows today, they have to face the same tests. 

“There is strong competition from, let's say, a few other shows that have been on air for the last 2-10 years. I think Dangal is no different from other platforms and so the new show will have the same competition, like any new show on any other network. At the end of the day, we all know that content is king. If the content is strong enough in physically delivering what is expected from a particular show in terms of content and execution and production, you can say it's easy to get really gravitated towards new content.” 

Bhatt, who has had a long experience in the television industry, says each experience taught him something, which he had added to Dangal. “My experience with television has been for more than 25 years. So I guess every experience has taught me something. Definitely, Colors has taught me, at the same time when I was with Zee Punjabi, I have learned a lot of new things. So definitely it is getting value-added to the network, to the content, the narrative, the way we narrate a particular story,” he added. 

Bhatt said the acceptance of new shows has been quite favourable and traction is great, and they have seen an upward trend when it comes to the numbers. “The numbers are still getting churned because a lot of things have changed. We are number one as of 52 weeks, on an average. We have a strong presence now. We will continue to build it and keep on bringing in new shows. That's what the plan is,” he said. 

He said the channel has five new launches slated from now till February, including Prem Bandhan. All the shows are in various stages of production.


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