FICCI 2015: Are broadcasters innovating enough to stay 'glocally' relevant?

BBC’s Mayleeta Aga, Star’s Gaurav Banerjee, Balaji’s Sameer Nair, Zee’s Pradeep Hejmadi, RBNL’s Tarun Katial and Disney’s Vijay Subramanium on content innovation in television

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 26, 2015 8:46 AM
FICCI 2015: Are broadcasters innovating enough to stay 'glocally' relevant?

Content innovation has been central to many key a discussion in the television broadcast industry. In the wake of market growth due to digitization, have broadcasters and content creators innovated to stay ahead of the game?  Are broadcasters ready to spend on differentiated content in fiction and non-fiction spaces?

At FICCI Frames 2015,  a panel discussion on ‘Retooling content to stay ‘glocally’ relevant’ saw participation from Mayleeta Aga, SVP & GM India & Content Head Asia, BBC Worldwide, Gaurav Banerjee, GM, Star Plus & Life OK, Sameer Nair, Group CEO, Balaji Telefilms, Pradeep Hejmadi, Business Head, Zee TV, Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL and Vijay Subramanium, VP & Head Content & Communication, Disney India.

Subramanium spoke about how creation of content specially for the digital medium has helped in gaining a large audience and also helped them gain valuable feedback from consumers, it has ultimately helped them add to their television viewership when showcased on TV, he said.

“We work from creation to distribution to digital syndication to innovation, so for us we always start from content. BBC is looking at different content strategies and technology strategies based on what the content is or market requires,” says Aga. She further spoke on the reason why IP rights are still with broadcasters in India rather with producers due to producers going with incomplete ideas to broadcasters in order to seek more investment to develop them.

Katial on the other hand said that when it comes to content innovation, smaller channels can afford to take risks rather than larger ones. He said that at a time when launching Big Magic Ganga they took valuable market insights of Bhojpuri-language channels not being appreciated by the areas they were in as they were looked down upon. As a result they created a channel for the region in Hindi but with all the regional aspects ingrained in the content produced. This saw the channel achieve huge success in a short span.

Banerjee said that content has now moved on from a singular tone to more various other tones. There is a lot more time spent by Hindi GECs in experimentation in this segment. He further said that broadcasters today are spending a lot more investment in different content in terms of fiction. Characters now have become more aspirational and have gone beyond just kitchen stories. There further is a lot of R&D that is going into the content with the broadcaster investing more in scripts.

Nair touched upon the point that there needs to be a lesser dependence of broadcasters on advertisers and ratings in turn. The reason they run after ratings is to get more from advertisers. He said that this will enable for them to take more risks in content.

When it came to ratings Hejmadi said that broadcaster don’t look at ratings much when bringing in a new show as that is something that is looked at later. Further on the IP rights he said with a global broadcaster like Zee it was difficult to them to leave the IP with the production house as that could complicate things on a global scale if they parted with it.

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