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Big magic


25 Mar 2011
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MUMBAI: After launching two channels in partnership with CBS Corp, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) is now entering into the Hindi entertainment genre with a regional focus.

RBNL will relaunch on 4 April Imagine Showbiz in a new avatar and a new name – Big Magic.

Indiantelevision.com was the first to report that RBNL had bought out Imagine Showbiz from Cinestar Advertising Pvt Ltd (CAPL). RBNL had paid an estimated Rs 150-200 million for the acquisition in January this year.

Big Magic is positioned as a Hindi general entertainment channel and will serve only to the Hindi heartland audiences of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The channel will offer locally relevant content including comedy, music and movies.

The model is very much similar to Sri Adhikari Bros' recenltly
launched region-specific Hindi GECs - Dabangg, Dhamaal and Dhamakaa.

RBNL CEO Tarun Katial said, “The Hindi heartland represents 30 per cent of India’s population and by far the most attractive and lucrative market for advertisers. This underserviced market, offers an excellent opportunity to offer audiences entertainment that is tailored to meet their preferences. Big Magic will quickly build a strong platform on the back of an excellent programming mix and leveraging our Big FM’s brand lineage to help fortify its position rapidly.”

RBNL’s research says that these three markets together account for 13 per cent of the national ad spend. “UP, MP and Bihar markets together account for 13 per cent of national advertising spend which is Rs 230 billion,” RBNL said, quoting Adex data.

It also said that the TV spend in these regions is Rs 12 billion and the national TV channels currently garner around Rs 10.50 billion of this amount. The print advertising spend in this region is around Rs 14 billion.

“Since the overall revenue potential of this belt is very high, RBNL aims to garner a good share of the pie through its new product offering,” the company said.

The company is also hoping it would have an advantage from its presence in the FM radio business. Big FM has its 11 stations in the Hindi heartland and RBNL expects this would provide Big Magic an ideal platform to speed its market presence.

“Importantly, there will also be excellent synergies in programming between the two platforms as well as opportunities to create integrated properties executed across both platforms simultaneously,” RBNL said.

RBNL said the channel will be distributed across all cable operators across the states of UP, MP and Bihar on MSOs like Den, Digicable, WWIL and Hathway, reaching approximately 10 million households in the heartland.

"The company claimed that Big Magic would be placed on S-band, ensuring the channel is among the first 30 on the television sets. RBNL has also planned a high decibel marketing plan including outdoor, mall activation, play-out seeding in malls, radio, print and local cable.

Big Magic will be the third channel under the RBNL umbrella. It has already launched two out of three channels from Big CBS JV - Prime and Love and will be launching Spark soon.

The company has also announced a different JV with European broadcaster RTL to launch two channels.
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