'Out-of-network news and music channels to be part of Colors Gujarati Cinema promotions'

Ravish Kumar, Head, Regional TV Network, Viacom18 speaks on the launch of Colors Gujarati Cinema, their marketing strategy for the new channel and further expansion of their regional portfolio

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Published: May 29, 2019 8:56 AM  | 4 min read
Ravish Kumar

Colors announced the launch of Colors Gujarati Cinema, the first 24-hours movie channel in the region. It is a pay channel and will be part of the Colors wala Value pack. The channel will showcase 300+ titles which include movies and plays. Ravish Kumar, Head - Regional TV Network, Viacom18 mentioned that the network has a 43% market share in Gujarat which has a size of Rs 100 crore. “We have currently more than 43% market share. I see it growing significantly to at least 50%. These days the reach you get from movies is unparalleled. So hopefully, in the first three months, we would start to see traction.”

Kumar also mentioned that the regional cluster has contributed 22% to the revenue growth to the network. Speaking about what propelled that growth, Kumar said, “For us, the growth has been driven by an increase in ratings. A lot of the non-fiction shows, movie premieres, events that we have done - we have really upped our investment into making newer shows. We have increased the width of offering and also the number of hours of programming. It has been across the board. We have seen it come both from the impact properties as well as fiction shows getting stronger. As the ratings start to move up, that’s definitely a good place to be.”

Apart from old classics, the channel will have premieres of recent hits like Chello Divas, Love ni Bhavai, Reva, Mijaj, Duniyadari, Oxygen, and Backbencher. The movies will be simulcast on Colors Gujarati as well. “In a couple of instances, we will simulcast. We do that in other markets as well. For instance, we did it in Karnataka where we have Colors Kannada, Colors Super, and Colors Kannada Cinema. We decide where to premiere a title and where to run the repeat or whether or not to simulcast it. We work on multiple variables. We like to run each channel independently and if one already has a great non-fiction property running, I am not going to disrupt it,” Kumar revealed.

The network is indulging in a 360-degree marketing campaign which includes print and radio campaigns, an OOH campaign at 23 major towns in Gujarat, ad blitzkrieg with 1000 spots on top non-network channels in the state and also in-theatre campaign with Salman Khan’s Bharat. For the latter, the promos will be aired at 144 screens across 24 theatres in the state.

When asked about ads on non-network channels, Ravish Kumar elaborated that it will be mostly on news and music channels. “We will also use some other channels of our own network. Recently, news channels have been the flavour of the season because of the elections. So getting out there exposes you to a wider audience. Films historically have been more male-skewed than females, so news channels will be a great platform as well. While we continue to push it aggressively on Colors Gujarati itself, which is the biggest reach platform in that market, we have also added on other Gujarati channels to expand our reach.” He admits that due to the MRP regime, the viewership has been distributed and this move is done to grab more eyeballs.

TRAI’s NTO has impacted a lot of channels and the way they view their marketing budgets. When asked if that had any effect on Colors’ Gujarati, Kumar said, “If you look at it, a lot of it links back to who the LCO or MSO is. How prepared they are to execute it? So wherever you have seen hiccups, it’s because the back-end is not fully ready to implement the new tariff order. In Gujarat, we haven’t seen much of an impact. Back-end in this market is relatively easier than some of the other markets where it’s been a struggle.”

Ravish Kumar also mentioned that for this year, they aren’t looking to expand their regional portfolio. “For this year we are consolidating because we are present in a lot of the markets. Areas like Kannada and Marathi are our strengths. In Tamil, we are off to a very strong start. In Bangla, we are fighting for growth. We would like to grow in markets where we already are there instead of eyeing new markets. We are still a young player. We will push for an expansion strategy wherever it is possible.”

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