After its success in India, Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors is now looking at conquering international markets. As part of its overseas plans, the channel was launched in the US late last month as ‘Aapka Colors’ due to some legal issues. The UK operations of Colors began on January 25, 2010. The 24-hour channel will be available free-to-air at launch and will subsequently be added to the View Asia package after a couple of months.
Talking about the expansion plans, Rajesh Kamat, Group COO, Viacom18 and CEO, Colors, said, “After reaching the leadership position in India, it’s only natural to take the Colors franchise to millions of Hindi-speaking viewers based in other key markets around the globe. And the US and the UK are surely the top two markets where the consumer’s appetite for entertainment is ever growing.”
In a press statement, Bhavneet Singh, Board Director, Viacom18 and Managing Director and Executive Vice President of MTV Network’s International’s Emerging Markets Group, said, “There is a huge appetite for Hindi language entertainment and we are confident that Colors will quickly become the ultimate family entertainment destination for Asian communities across the UK and the US.”
The channel has appointed Targeted Marketing Solutions (TMS) to handle its airtime sales in the UK and is in the process of finalising the same for the US market.
Kamat added, “As of now, it is too early to say how this move will boost our revenues. However, in the international market, a significant revenue contribution for any channel is subscription, which is clearly our focus as well. This will also be supplemented with local advertising revenue.”
The creatives will be outsourced from India and the team that handles marketing for India will handle it for these international markets as well. Amitabh Bachchan will be the brand ambassador for both these the US and the UK markets.
Meanwhile, Colors is launching a multimedia campaign in these international markets that includes radio, TV and print to reach out to the Indian audience. Soon, other touch points such as grocery stores, restaurants and community places would be tapped. There would be digital activity as well.
While Kamat wasn’t ready to share specific details about which other international markets the channel intended to foray into, he did say that in future he would like to expand the brand to other markets that had a chunk of Hindi-speaking audience.