Sony Marathi to go live on August 19; to have "aspirational content", says NP Singh
The urban-centric channel, with nine fiction and two non-fiction shows, will commence with the popular 55th Maharashtra State Film Awards
With new channel Sony Marathi launching on August 19, Sony Pictures Networks India is all geared up to enter a space which has already been an important growth driver for key broadcasters (read Star India, Viacom18 Media and ZEEL). Despite the existing players, the network is confident of setting itself apart through ‘differentiated and aspirational content'. With the tagline being Vinuya Atut Naati (weaving unbreakable relationships) the channel will be urban-centric, keeping its TG in mind.
For NP Singh, MD and CEO, SPN, the timing of Sony Marathi’s entry was perfect as Maharashtra is a fast-growing market. “The regional market, particularly Maharashtra, has been growing fairly rapidly. Traditionally we have a strong presence in Maharashtra with our network channels having 23 per cent market share. Therefore we decided it was time for us to talk to our loyal audience in their own language. It was time for us to cross-pollinate between Hindi and Marathi languages. And, we wanted to give them differentiated and aspirational content, which research tells us, where the need gap is," said Singh.
He also mentioned that there’s a marked difference in the content (and its treatment), offered by Marathi cinema and Marathi television.
Also the last 10 years have been a renaissance phase for Marathi cinema, according to Ajay Bhalwankar, Business Head, Sony Marathi. “Content-driven films also do well commercially. That’s something that hasn’t happened in television. We feel that relevant content is somewhere stuck and many replicas are taking place. Somehow currently, television is not dishing out this type of content," he said.
The channel will be offering four hours of content daily from Monday to Saturday, nine fiction and two non-fiction shows, making it a total of 11 new shows. Being the collective efforts of industry stalwarts, shows such as ‘Julta Julta Jultay, ‘H.M. Bane T.M. Bane,’ ‘Saare Tuzhyach Sathi’ etc aim at going beyond ordinary content offerings, challenging the status quo and breaking perceptions that exist around relationships in society. The non-fiction line-up includes ‘Maharashtracha Favorite Dancer’ and ‘Maharashtrachi Hasya Jatra.’ The channel will commence with the telecast of the popular 55th Maharashtra State Film Awards on Sunday.
When it comes to the movie library, both Singh and Bhalwankar promise ‘strong content’, which will be aired on weekends. “We have actually aggregated over 100 strong titles and some of them are also premieres," said Singh.
The channel will be available across key direct-to-home (DTH) and digital cable platforms.
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