Two-year-old Punjabi music channel, MH1, from the Lara music group, has some exciting plans lined up for the coming year. The channel, which primarily competes with Zee Punjabi and Balle Balle, planned to foray into the UK, US and Canada by the end of March 2006, informed Pradeep Gangal, CEO MH One TV Network Ltd.
Elaborating on the factors that prompted MH1 to foray into these markets, Gangal said, “Our success in the well defined Punjab market created much interest in the NRI market and also a constant demand from the Punjabi community visiting India to show the same channel overseas. The success of our popular programme, ‘Awaaz Punjab Di’, a talent hunt programme, has also been responsible for such decisions. In fact, we have been getting constant responses and requests to begin such events across the border for the Punjabi community, which we shall be doing shortly, hence, the decision to enter these markets was taken.”
For the record, MH1 is amply visible in Pakistan and UAE through various cable networks. However, sharing more details on its latest plan of entering the US, UK and Canada, Gangal said, “The reach to these countries shall be through fibre as is being done for certain other Indian channels.”
MH1 will essentially focus on music and entertainment for the foraying abroad. Elaborating on the programming, Gangal said, “The programming mix has to be balanced in line with our heritage, which is what most of the NRI community looks for, and a feel of modernity for the younger generation.”
MH1 adopted a long-term strategy, which has paid off as far as advertising is concerned. Elaborating more on that aspect, Gangal said, “Yes, we do have long term plan in terms of strengthening the channel by way of creating programmes in tune with what viewers desire. We do understand the same and hence, certain strategy has been involved to combat the fierce competition amongst the television networks. It is, however, too early to reveal that.”
The Punjabi music channel is also contemplating to start a Hindi music and entertainment channel. Gangal said, “After the success of the regional channel, it is imperative that one must get into the national scene in order to be a serious player. In the next six months, we plan to launch a national Hindi music and entertainment channel to give our competitors a run for their money.”