A few months ago, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International formed a joint venture called BIG CBS Networks. This JV announced the launch of three English Entertainment Channels; BIG CBS Prime is a premium English general entertainment channel, BIG CBS Spark is an English youth channel while BIG CBS Love is a women’s English entertainment channel.
Now the group has announced that BIG CBS Prime, the first of the three channels will be launched in November 2010. While they did not announce any set dates, they announced that it will be launched after Diwali. The other two channels will follow suit in December (BIG CBS Love) and February (BIG CBS Spark).
BIG CPS Prime will take content from CBS’s programme library and will have the latest seasons of shows such as ‘The Defenders’, ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘NCIS’, ‘Survivor’, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘Rachael Ray’ among other shows.
The channel aims to target audience from SEC A and B (18-34 years) and the group had also decided on its distribution rates. The Big CBS channels will be distributed at a la carte rate (non-addressable) of Rs 14, Rs 11 for Big CBS Prime, Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love, respectively. Simultaneously, the channels will be distributed at a bouquet rate (non-addressable) of Rs 21.2 (Rs 9.2 for Big CBS Prime, Rs 6.0 each for Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love). The commercial rates of Big CBS channels are: Rs 50 for Big CBS Prime and Rs 30 each for Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love. BIG CBS Networks has also inked its carriage and placement deal with Digicable, one of India’s largest cable TV distribution companies.
Talking about the channel, Aparnaa Pande, Business Head, BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd, said that, “With a fabulous line up of the best shows from the US, and our promise of delivering the freshest, hottest and latest programming, exclusively on the channel, we are confident of attracting the right mix of attention. The programming will offer unmatched and unparalleled entertainment to audiences in India, as we grow the English television entertainment space.”
Talking about the availability of some of the content on other channels, Pande said that BIG CBS Prime will offer the freshest content and is confident that viewers will tune in to their channel.
However, content in the afternoon time band of BIG CBS Prime might have the same set of viewers as the viewers for BIG CBS Love. Pande said that she is not worried about cannibalisation and that this will only add more viewers to the channels.
While the channels are not in HD right now, she does not rule out the possibility of the getting the content in HD some time later.