Shreyamas Kumar is Director of Mathrubhumi. He is responsible for the electronic and print segments of Mathrubhumi. Recently, the group announced its foray into the broadcast space with the launch of one news channel and one music channel.
In conversation with exchange4media, Kumar speaks about the Mathrubhumi’s television foray, what to expect in 2013, the advantages of digitisation, and more…
The Mathrubhumi Group has been present in the market since 1922. What made you foray into the broadcast space only now? What are the positive aspects that you see that will aid this foray?
Mathrubhumi was conceived in the crucible of our Independence movement, and was born on March 18, 1923. More than the timing of our entry, we are more particular of our preparedness, both in terms of people and resources. We will build on the bedrock of our mother brand, acknowledged by Malayalees for generations, as a custodian of values and integrity.
The Malayalam TV space already has established players such as Asianet News, Manorama News, Reporter TV and India Vision. How you will differentiate yourself in that slot and what will be your USP?
Our investment in people and breakthrough technology will provide a sumptuous audio-visual treat to viewers who are thirsting for change, and unlike other news channels, we are committed to creating programmes that will be an emotional and intellectual stimulant. We are in the business of offering credible edited content, and are committed to delivering this across platforms, thus setting the agenda in Kerala.
Both your news channel and music channel are FTA. Any plans to go pay in the near future? What other channel genres are you eyeing for future launch?
Not as of now. Gestation on knowledge-based niche channels is on. And to round off the bouquet, will go in for a GEC too.
How do you see the cable digitisation process? What are your expectations and what are the roadblocks that you see?
We as a technology-driven entity, welcome this paradigm shift, which makes for a richer viewing experience. Both viewers and advertisers will reap fatter dividends. Cable operators, too, will benefit through rationalisation of carriage fees.
What will be your key focus areas for 2013 in print as well as broadcasting?
To garner the widest possible audience reach and catapult into the top slot; on-going modernisation of printing plants; re-design; more accent on colour; launch and revamping of magazines – are all on the cards in 2013.
We are aiming for greater synergies across verticals – television, radio, online and new media.