"Youth entertainment has grown quintessentially Indian over the years"

MK Anand, MD, Disney UTV Media Networks shares his views on the evolution of the youth genre and the need for youth shows to target broader, among other things...

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Published: Jun 7, 2013 7:51 PM  | 5 min read
"Youth entertainment has grown quintessentially Indian over the years"

MK Anand, Managing Director, Disney UTV Media Networks, in a free-wheeling discussion with exchange4media, talks about the evolution of the youth genre in broadcasting. Youth shows need to target broader, he says.

Anand also throws light on UTV’s revenue model, targets for 2013 and more…


How, according to you, has the youth GEC space evolved over the last few years?
The Indian youth of today are best described as ‘A Remixed Generation’. Today’s youth straddle seemingly conflicting worlds with immense ease and élan. They are supremely confident of what they want and engage with and demand content they like. They are rooted in tradition but are forcing change without destroying the past. Suffice to say that youth entertainment has remained dynamic, yet at the same time has grown to become quintessentially Indian over the years.

Though GRPs are at an all-time high, youth genre is still secondary to Hindi GECs. Given the fact that the production costs for such shows are on a higher side, what makes this genre viable?
Bindass has always been specifically targeted at a certain kind of consumer – the youth. That is the insight we began with in the first place and given that 50 per cent of the country’s population is youth, this is an extremely important TG with a huge potential.  We are targeting one of the largest segments within the country today, which cannot but be visible.
The production cost being higher is not something that I would generalise. It is true that GECs do get economies of scale due to volumes – the sheer number of episodes that run into 100s whereas in a channel like Bindass, we would typically look at creating 13 to 26 episodes in one season. Today, even the advertiser is looking at genre or TG-specific targeting which channels like Bindass are able to give with the right kind of play.

Could you share with us the business revenue model that has worked for the channel?
We are happy with our subscription revenue scale and growth. DAS is helping that. But we have a 65 percent to 70 percent dependence on ad sales. Performance and brand equity has added an ER-based sales approach. We are satisfied with our progress.

What are some of your expectations from digitisation Phase II, given the fact that it will lead to deeper market penetration?
Digitisation will certainly give more control in the hands of the viewer. The choice of the viewer is going to be of prime importance. We have always depended highly on a deep sense of understanding of our viewer and therefore, we have been able to deliver products basis that. Week 1 post DAS II was a pleasant re affirmations of our viewer’s love for Bindass. Moving forward, we are certain that even better times are in store for brand Bindass and our shows.
What are some of the targets that the channel has marked for 2013?
The 15 – 34 year olds comprise an approximately 42 per cent of all TV viewing. This is a fantastic opportunity for us. There is a gap in the general entertainment space on television and we want to cater to this segment. We want to become the destination for young India and Bindass is well on its way, if the numbers or the viewer feedback is anything to go by.

To succeed with youth, we believe we need to understand youth as a mindset and not an age cohort. While the sharp targeted parts will happen in the digital medium, web mobile or broadband TV, success with youth can come only if shows seek permission of others at home. Youth shows need to target broader.

What are some of the important milestones that will define the way forward for Bindass now?
Understanding the pulse of the audiences has been our core DNA. That is what drives us in whatever we do. On the back of some strong insights, we’ve also grown significantly as a brand with a very Indian persona of ‘Fun, Frank and Fearless’ as our driver themes, which has taken the channel from strength to strength, propelled by cult shows, most of which have run into multiple seasons.

Bindass has always focussed on youth-based fiction and non-fiction content as part of its programming strategy. Out of the two, which genre has been instrumental in driving maximum revenue for the channel?
More than the format of the content, it is our understanding of our TG and their content preferences that has been the driver for our programming strategy. Ultimately, content is the king and we have witnessed that young India loves great stories that they can relate to, characters that they can identify with and situations that mirror their own lives in some way or the other. Whether these are presented to them as a slice of life reality TV or in fictionalised format – is a creative call that varies from show to show.

While we have experienced success in the last four years with reality-based formats, we were also the first youth channel to launch a fiction show back in 2007 and 2008. In fact, the latest season of our cult show Emotional Atyachaar showcases recreation of the stories of the guests on the show. This tweak happened since the stories were about self-investigation as told by the guests to our anchor Pravesh Rana and it has met with a very encouraging response.

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ICC World Cup 2023: Disney Star onboards IndusInd & Emirates as sponsors on TV

According to sources, around 50-60 advertisers have signed up for the upcoming cricket tournament on TV

By Sonam Saini | Sep 26, 2023 1:22 PM   |   1 min read


Disney Star, the official broadcaster of ICC Cricket World Cup for both TV and digital, has bagged two more sponsorships from IndusInd and Emirates for television.

Highly placed sources have confirmed the news to e4m. According to the sources, over 50 advertisers have signed up for the upcoming marquee tournament and the broadcaster is still in talks with other advertisers.

PhonePe, Mahindra Auto, Coke, MasterCard and Hindustan Unilever are the other big brands that have come on board as sponsors for the tournament.

As earlier reported by exchange4media, the broadcaster is seeking Rs 118-120 crore for co-presenting sponsorships and Rs 80-90 crore for the associate sponsorship. For co-presenting opportunities on Disney+ Hotstar, the broadcaster has set a price tag of Rs 150 crore. Brands eager to get high visibility as "Powered by" sponsors will need to invest Rs 75 crore, while those opting for associate sponsorship will have to allocate Rs 40 crore.

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup kicks off on October 5 with a repeat of the 2019 final as England faces New Zealand in Ahmedabad. Across 10 world-class venues, 48 matches will be played in 46 days culminating in the Men’s Cricket World Cup Final on November 19.

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Zee Media to re-register for BARC data

In September 2022, the news broadcaster pulled out of the TV audience measurement system, citing landing page issues

By e4m Staff | Sep 26, 2023 8:39 AM   |   1 min read


News broadcaster Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL) has decided to register back for BARC data, starting in the week of October 12, according to sources. 

Emphasizing the significance of this collaboration, Abhay Ojha, CEO of Zee Media Corporation Limited, said, "We, at ZMCL, have always valued the integrity and transparency of data. Our decision to rejoin forces with BARC reflects our firm belief in BARC's commitment towards robust data mechanisms and our anticipation of a productive partnership ahead. We remain committed to delivering trustworthy news and content to our viewers and advertisers."

e4m has reached out for an official confirmation but BARC CEO Nakul Chopra wasn’t available to comment on the development at the time of filing this story.

Earlier in September 2022, the news broadcaster pulled out of the TV audience measurement system, citing the landing page issue as a reason for taking such a drastic step.

ZMCL had then said that it had been consistently requesting BARC India to take corrective measures with regard to the landing page issue. The news broadcaster had said that the landing page data should not be included in the final viewership and the duration for counting viewership be increased to 2 minutes.  

ZMCL was the second TV news network after NDTV to pull out channels from BARC.

The media company owns and operates 14 TV news channels apart from 5 digital channels and 17 digital brands.

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Star Plus onboards 14 advertisers for Star Parivaar Awards 2023

Brands such as Dabur, ITC, Emami, Apple, Amazon, Berger Paints and Xiaomi have aligned themselves with the upcoming event

By e4m Staff | Sep 25, 2023 5:12 PM   |   1 min read

star plus

Star Parivaar Awards 2023 has onboarded advertisers like Dabur, ITC, Emami, Apple, Amazon, Berger Paints and Xiaomi.

The awards have attracted 14 advertisers spanning a wide array of categories, including FMCG, Banking, E-commerce, Technology, Mobile Handsets, Insurance, Paints, and Pharma.

“This presents an unparalleled opportunity for brands to connect with their target audience on linear TV and beyond. The event offers a diverse range of in-content integration opportunities, emphasizing its massive associative value," said an industry observer.

The award show is set to be telecast on 1st October, starting 7 PM, on Star Plus and Disney+ Hotstar.

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MIB makes registration mandatory for MSOs to provide own programming service

Applicants have been advised to refer to guidelines issued by MIB on November 30, 2022

By e4m Staff | Sep 25, 2023 2:53 PM   |   1 min read

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has made it mandatory for Multi-System Operators (MSO), who intend to provide their own programming service, either directly to their own subscribers or through one or more Local Cable Operators, to take registration of platform services.

Applicants have been advised to refer to guidelines for platform services offered by Multi System Operators issued by MIB on November 30, 2022. They are required to apply for registration of their PS channel(s)

Following documents are required to be uploaded at the time of submission of online application:

a. Certificate of Channel Carrying Capacity (Statewise) (Sell'-Certification).
b. Details of PS Channels operated at State Level
c. Details of PS Channels operated at District Level.
d. Filled in MHA Security Clearance Pro-forma.
e. Challan copy of payment made on Bharat Kosh Portal for registration of PS Channels.

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BCCI media rights: Viacom18 gets dynamic injunction from Delhi HC

Viacom18 Media had approached the court seeking ad-interim dynamic injunction to protect its media rights against rogue and pirate websites as well as John Does

By e4m Staff | Sep 23, 2023 4:50 PM   |   2 min read


Viacom18 has secured a broad dynamic injunction from the Delhi High Court for the Indian cricket team’s bilateral matches.

Recently, Viacom18 bagged the BCCI linear and digital rights. As a result, for the next five years i.e., from September 2023 till March 2028, all bilateral games involving the Indian cricket team that will be played in India along with domestic cricket, shall now be broadcasted/streamed by Viacom18 on its television and OTT properties.

Viacom18 Media Private Limited had approached the Delhi High Court seeking an ad-interim dynamic injunction to protect its Media Rights in relation to the BCCI Events against various rogue and pirate websites as well as John Does/Ashok Kumars/Unknown Defendants.

The court while expressing its concerns regarding the unending menace of piracy noted that the courts have become inundated with suits pertaining to such issues and suggested the importance of a robust anti-piracy policy to curb the issues. The court observed that a prima facie case for interim injunction was made out and further held that the grant of an injunction would be necessary to avoid irreparable loss/injury from being caused to Viacom18.

The court further ordered that Viacom18 shall not be bound to initiate any fresh proceedings in relation to any new alphanumeric/redirect/mirror websites that are expected to mushroom during the course of the BCCI events. Access to such websites shall be blocked by the Internet Service Providers (IPSs) upon being informed about the same by Viacom18 on an affidavit. This, dynamic injunction provides Viacom18 to swiftly act against pirates and rogue websites infringing and making available the BCCI matches without due permissions.

Anil Lale (General Counsel, Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd.) said: “We at Viacom18 are proud to be the exclusive digital and television broadcaster for Indian cricket. Viacom18 has always been at the forefront in the fight against piracy. I am sure this is a welcome step for all the cricket fans as also for bona fide broadcasters like us who spend huge sums to get these rights. While we are proud to say that we have won several battles against these pirate websites, we understand that the war against piracy is a continuing one and we are committed towards winning it.”

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Our Asian Games 2023 campaign is an idea that money can’t buy: Neville Bastawalla

Bastawalla, Head Marketing & On-Air Promotions, Sony Sports Network, SPNI (Culver Max), shares the network’s strategy for the Asian Games coverage, the media mix and more

By Aditi Gupta | Sep 23, 2023 8:02 AM   |   5 min read

Neville Bastawalla

With Sony Sports Network launching its grand campaign for Asian Games 2023, which begins today (September 23), exchange4media caught up with Neville Bastawalla, Head Marketing & On-Air Promotions, Sony Sports Network, SPNI (Culver Max).

Sharing the inspiration and idea behind the campaign ‘Iss baar Sau Paar Phir Se, Hum Hongey Kamyab’ Bastawalla said that in order to ensure that this message resonated across every corner of India, Sony Sports Network garnered support from a line-up of influential and iconic figures.

Union Minister of Sports, Anurag Thakur, Chief of Defence Staff, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan along with Chiefs of tri-services Gen Manoj Pandey, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Bollywood icons, sports icons and sports journalists have come onboard to back the athletes from India in the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Tell us about your campaign ‘Iss Baar Sau Paar, Phir se, Hum Hongey Kamyab’. What was the idea behind it and what are the expectations from it?

This goes back to Olympics Tokyo 2020 which took place in 2021 when we launched the campaign ‘Hum Hongey Kaamyab’. India has always taken these multi-sporting events like the ones that will fetch only 1-2 medals and athletes are not as popular as cricketers in this country. Most people don’t know the names of athletes. So that time we came up with the anthem of ‘Hum Hongey Kamyab’ which means ‘we shall overcome’. The idea was to make these athletes a household name in India and let the heroes of the nation support these athletes. This campaign was a huge success. When the athletes came back from Tokyo they said that for the first time, they felt that the nation was backing them. Many advertisers said that Sony Sports Network was making multi-sporting events, like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, appointment viewing.

So, from this, we moved to the Asian Games to launch the campaign ‘Iss Baar Hum Firsey Hongey Kaamyab’. We also thought that since the last medal tally was 69, why not set an aspiration to get 100 medals or more? Even if we don’t get it, it will at least motivate them to break the record.

What was the budget for this campaign and how was it different from last year?

Budgets or no budgets, an idea should be that money can’t buy. Even if you had money, would you get access to a navy submarine or an Indian Navy warship? Will the Chief of the Indian Air Force do a sortie for you in the latest aircraft? The idea is so powerful and that is what we thrived on. It broke the challenges of a budget. The films we have made are so solid that organically even the armed forces have come on board.

The budget is not as significant as the World Cup but the whole power of the campaign is organic and that goes beyond money.

Apart from Bollywood icons, the campaign features iconic figures from the country, including the Minister of Sports Anurag Thakur, and a huge support of Indian Defence forces -Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. How did you think of getting so many iconic figures, especially from the defence this time?

While deciding whom to get on board the campaign, we asked ourselves who are the real heroes of the nation. The real heroes of our nation are the ones who are guarding us. So the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) came to our mind. Another hero who came to our mind was the ISRO chief. We couldn’t manage to convert that but we got the other heroes and icons of the nation. The objective is to reach out to the 140 crore people in our country through the heroes of our nation. When we reached out to the Indian Navy Chief, we didn’t want to show just him speaking but we wanted to showcase the whole rainbow of the Indian Navy. The film has the submarine commander and crew saluting. Similarly, we got onboard the Indian Army and Air Force. In my entire career, I have never done such a huge campaign.

We galvanized 15 pan-India journalists across radio, TV, digital and print and made a beautiful film with them. Defence forces, SPNI CEO NP Singh, Sudha Murthy, Hema Malini, Madhuri Dixit, Aamir Khan. Khan was so charged about it. No money is involved in this. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur is also there.

How many sponsors have come on board this time? Is it better than last time?

This is the first time ever that the Indian cricket team, men and women, will be participating in Asian Games. The sponsor support this time is terrific. We have Hyundai, JSW, Limca Sportz, Paisabazaar, LIC of India, Amul, State Bank of India, Ultratech Cement, Panasonic etc. This kind of support has never been before for the Asian Games. It is a lot better than last time. Three times the scale this time.

How many films are you coming up with for the Asian Games?

There are 20-25 films this time. The buzz is we will cross 100 films.

What will be the marketing strategy and media mix?

We are not going out. We believe in the power of the films and digital shareability. We have a very robust plan for the films. All leading portals on social media will be used. The focus will be on video content viewing. Our team will be working 24x7 through the Asian Games wherein every time India wins a medal or critical moments, clips will be cut out and put out on digital. We will be creating such content for digital. There will be real-time content. Apart from this campaign, there will be live medal updates.

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Paramount Global Q2 revenue stands at $7.6 billion

The company said it has realised a gain of $168 million from dilution of stake in Viacom18

By e4m Staff | Sep 22, 2023 9:53 AM   |   3 min read


Paramount Global has reported a 2% drop in its total revenue in the second quarter of calendar year 2023 at $7.6 billion but has realised a gain of $168 million from dilution of its stake in Viacom18 from 49% to 13%.

The amount of $168 million mentioned in the financial statement “reflects a gain recognized on our retained interest in Viacom18 following the discontinuance of equity method accounting resulting from the dilution of our interest from 49% to 13%”, the company said.

In April 2023, Paramount’s stake in Viacom18 reduced to 13% from 49% after the latter received investment from Reliance Industries Ltd and Bodhi Tree Systems.

According to its financial report for the quarter ending June 30, 2023, Paramount Global recorded an adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) of $606 million.

Paramount+, SVOD service of Paramount Global, reported a revenue growth of 47% while its total DTC ad revenue increased by 21%, and global viewing hours on Paramount+ and Pluto TV, ad-supported streaming service, were up 35% year-over-year, the report said.

“Despite the environment, TV media continued to contribute significant earnings. As we look forward, we will continue to be guided by our content-first approach and seek to maximize its value across platforms and revenue streams, while also operating with the utmost efficiency through this year of peak streaming investment,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO, Paramount Global, in the statement.

Paramount Global also reached an agreement to sell book publisher Simon & Schuster to private equity firm KKR for $1.62 billion. The company expects to use the proceeds from the sale to pay down the debt.

It said that this transaction will yield approximately $1.3 billion in net proceeds, resulting in a roughly 0.5x improvement in net leverage when the deal closes following regulatory review.

The company said that its affiliate and subscription revenue grew a strong 12% in Q2, “demonstrating once again that the combination of traditional and streaming yield a net growth for our business.”

It said that Paramount delivered strong D2C subscription revenue growth of 47%, largely driven by Paramount+ where it benefited from subscriber additions, improvements in ARPU and reductions in churn.

The company reported TV Media revenue of $ 5,157 million, which is 2% down from the corresponding quarter last year.

It also reported a drop in revenue from filmed entertainment at $831 million compared to $1,363 million last year.

“The year-over-year change in TV media advertising was similar to Q1. In the national domestic market, we are seeing strength in key categories, including pharma, retail, movies and travel. That said, we see linear advertising recovering more slowly than digital, and we expect the Q3 rate of change for TV media advertising will be relatively similar to Q2 with improvement in Q4,” said Naveen K. Chopra - Paramount Global - Executive VP & CFO.



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