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Fox History and Traveller to launch Bangla feed

Bapun Raz

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MUMBAI: Fox History and Traveller has decided to launch a Bengali feed next year as it plans to expand its reach, the India head of Fox International Channels (FIC) told Indiantelevision.com. This will be the newly repositioned lifestyle channel's first regional language feed. The channel, earlier named Fox History and Entertainment, already runs feeds in Hindi and English. "We are looking at a 40 per cent market share in the lifestyle genre. We will be launching a Bengali feed next year as part of our localization strategy," FIC India managing director Kertan Adyanthaya said. Adyanthaya estimates the lifestyle ad pie to be at Rs 700-800 million as he prepares to tap into new advertisers. "Our advertiser profile will change. With Fox History and Entertainment, we had real estate, finance and auto companies as our main advertisers. In the lifestyle genre, airlines, hotels, tourism boards and travel agencies are the key categories. As Indians travel abroad more frequently, brands want to tap them," he said. The lifestyle space is poised to grow at around 15-20 per cent. "New players coming in will eventually lead to growth in viewership and revenues, though initially there might be some cannibalisation happening. When you have three to
four new players coming, you could see a growth of 60-70 per cent," Adyanthaya said. He admitted that the downturn resulted in channels in this genre going through a tough time. "Male oriented brands and lifestyle brands cut their spends. The good news is that the bounce back was quick. It took around nine months for things to improve, which was faster compared to other Asian markets." Explaining the rationale behind the revamp, Adyanthaya said that the aim is to have a more broad appeal. "Earlier, most of our viewership came from men, which was around 65 per cent. Now we expect it to be more even. Our TG is 18-45 years SEC
AB but we expect most viewership to come from the 20-25 demographic. Of course, SEC CD and E, which watched us to some extent earlier, will not view us as much now. But the gain in women viewers will more than compensate the loss." The content costs have gone up by 50 – 60 per cent. "That is because more channels have launched in the lifestyle space. Also, we will be doing more local shows. We will have at least one local show a quarter." In the earlier mix of history and entertainment, FIC didn't do more than two local shows a year. "Our marketing spend will also double. But we are confident of getting in more revenues, after a gap of around four months since rebranding," said Adyanthaya. Ahead of the repositioned channel, FIC had introduced lifestyle content in February. "The response was positive and so we went ahead with the rebranding. It could be the second biggest growth driver for us after our flagship National Geographic Channel," said Adyanthaya. Fox History and Traveller will launch a local show, 'Twist of Fate', next month. The show will feature Vineet Bhatia, who owns the Michelin starred Rasoi chain of restaurants. He comes to India and visits different places, trying out local cuisine. "Next year in January, we are doing an adventure show with Purab Kohli. He will be hunting for three people who will join him on a journey to do fun things like gate crashing a party. We are also seeing if it makes sense to maybe send people to music festivals globally. That could be another local show," said Adyanthaya. FIC's other channels - Baby TV, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Music and Nat Geo Adventure - are on four DTH platforms, including Dish TV, Sun Direct, Videocon and Reliance. "We just did a three-year deal with Dish TV. We have avoided analogue as we do not believe in paying carriage fees. By February, DTH will be in 40 million homes, up from the current 32 million. This is substantial. Then we would start looking at advertising revenue for these channels," said Adyanthaya.




Indiantelevision.com
 
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