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Reliance Broadcast and STAR India shake hands for content alliance

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Reliance Broadcast and STAR India shake hands for content alliance

As the year-end approaches, entertainment biggies gear up to put up a good show. In a strategic content alliance, two established media houses – STAR India and Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) – have joined hands to leverage their brand offerings. Sanjay Gupta, COO, STAR India, and Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL, announced in Mumbai on December 15, 2010 their first such joint property – ‘Big Star Entertainment Awards’ – which will be televised on Star Plus on December 31, 2010 at 10 pm.

The two officials were clear that this was not just a one-off partnership, but the intention was to create more such intellectual properties that would build on the strengths of the two media houses. For both, STAR and Big, this is a first-of-its-kind alliance. Though neither Gupta nor Katial divulged any further information, it is understood from sources that STAR and Big have planned two to three such properties, where the modus operandi would be to create on-ground events that would convert to televised properties.

This is a good move for both sides in many ways. Since Star Plus’ launch in 2001, the channel has enjoyed many high points and is now focusing on being resilient in hanging on to the top spot. Big started essentially as a radio player and then branched into various other mediums to become a Network.

The first look at the event gives the impression that ‘Big Star Entertainment Awards’ would be a star studded event, which will be the high investment show for the year end. The Awards are planned as a consumer driven initiative, wherein fans would vote and reward their favourite entertainers. While the consumer awards route has been taken on television, according to STAR and Big, it has never been done in this kind of scale and investment. Nonetheless, it is difficult to ignore the numerous awards already made available to audiences. Star Plus hosted Sahara Sports last month; Zee TV is to host Rishtey Awards; Colors aired The Global Indian Music Awards on December 2, 2010. Star Plus went full throttle for the marketing of the Indian Television Academy (ITA) awards aired in October 2010.

Why should the audience look forward to the Big Star Entertainment Awards? For Gupta, there are two reasons – the nature of the awards, which would include looking at awarding entertainers across platforms, not just for the year gone by, but for the past decade; and secondly, the marketing. He explained, “The event would be marketed across the Big Network on radio, OOH and digital and also on the STAR Network, hence television.”

The property has been conceptualised by Big Live, RBNL’s experiential marketing arm, and will see amplified promotion through Reliance Broadcast Network’s verticals – Big Live, Big FM (45 network radio station), Big Street (the OOH wing), and Big Digital (digital arm). Shedding some light on the concept, Katial remarked, “We have begun promotions on our 45 radio stations pan India in the last 10 days. We are very excited about this property, given its format, the coming together of the two big media houses, and the plans that we have for the entertainment planned for the evening that would not just see the top deck of star performances, but also unique acts.”

While the on-ground event would take place on December 21, 2010, the event would be telecast on December 31, 2010 on Star Plus.


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