The BIG CBS JV announced its foray into the regional television space with the launch of the fourth channel from its stable, Spark Punjabi. The BIG CBS JV has already launched three channels – BIG CBS Prime, BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS spark.
Spark Punjabi is a category creator, poised to be launched as the first international Punjabi channel on January 14, 2012. Targeting the 15+ audience, the channel will feature the best of CBS content all dubbed in Punjabi, giving local audiences immediate access to world class entertainment.
Speaking to exchange4media before the launch, Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd, said, “India’s booming regional television industry with limited regional entertainment options is an opportunity that we are leveraging.”
He further said, “The channel will have a never-seen-before product mix of crime thrillers, reality shows such as talent hunts, talk shows, comedy shows, action films, Punjabi music and local programming. It enjoys the benefit of the unmatched reach with RBNL’s multi-media offering, delivers cost efficiencies compared to the print medium, offers unique properties built on local insights, and adds hours of fresh content with less repeats each day.”
Elaborating on plans to promote the channel, Katial added, “We will use a holistic, aggressive media plan to reach our consumers. We have several business synergies and internal synergies. Spark Punjabi has the distinct advantage of the legacy of RBNL’s well-established radio brand 92.7 Big FM, the No. 1 radio network in this region, which boasts of eight stations and reaches out to 22 cities in the region. Additionally, RBNL’s OOH business, Big Street, has over 3,000+ ambient media options in this market and will thus, offer advertisers an integrated media opportunity like none other in the region. This puts RBNL in a distinctive position to garner a high share of the estimated Rs 1,200 crore advertising spend in this region.”
Coming into play will also be the other Reliance Group platforms like Reliance Digital TV, TV production through Big Synergy and big productions and filmed content through Big Pictures and the Group’s many advertising and promotional platforms.
Katial added, “With our robust radio network in place, Spark Punjabi will allow a more integrated offering to marketers, while presenting audiences with the best television entertainment.”
Spark Punjabi will be available across Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Himachal Pradesh (PHCHP) region. The channel will be distributed on digital and analog platforms, with an extensive reach of over six million C&S households in the region. The PHCHP region is one of the richest regions and boasts of a strong base of affluent consumers. With 78 per cent TV penetration and 88 per cent C&S penetration, coupled with limited local language entertainment options, the market offers a good business opportunity for this channel format.
The channel will have a mix of international shows and will air the latest seasons of shows such as ‘Jerry Springer’, ‘Hawaii Five-O’, ‘America’s Next Top Model’, and ‘Masked Warriors’, among others, dubbed in Punjabi. Alongside, Spark Punjabi will also host locally produced, homegrown shows that meet the tastes and sensibilities of local audiences.
Armando Nuñez, President, CBS Studios International, remarked, “The move into the regional market perfectly complements our existing bouquet of channels in India, utilising existing programming resources customised to the Punjabi market and backed by Reliance’s great media assets in the region.”
As for the channel’s logo, Katial said, “We have used Steinbranding for the logo design of the BIG CBS channels. The logo will be unveiled through an event in the local market on January 12, 2012.”