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Bhojpuri channel rankings to see a shake-up as Filamchi aims for Top 3

In the last two years, regional languages such as Bhojpuri, Assamese and Odiya have shown a viewership growth of 19 per cent, 16 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, whereas Hindi language channels’ viewership has largely remained flat (BARC India: TV Universe Estimates 2020). With content consumption moving increasingly to mobile phones, TV broadcasters are focusing on a previously underserved regional market.

Recently, ZEEL launched its Marathi movie channel Zee Chitramandir, following closely on the heels of its Marathi music channel Zee Vajwa. Another broadcaster, Enterr10, launched a Kannada GEC, Dangal Kannada, after the launch of its Bhojpuri channel, Enterr10 Rangeela. Last year, broadcaster IN10 Media Network launched their Bhojpuri movie channel ‘Filamchi’ and marked their entry into the regional market.

In a span of just one year, Filamchi has grown at an impressive pace. Tarun Talreja, Vice President – Strategy, Filamchi, IN10 Media Network, told Adgully, “From the channel’s launch last year, we have reached 16.2 (Mn) individuals, AMA 000’s 1427 to 4310 and cumulative reach (Mn) growth from 1.4 to 5.2.”

Speaking about the barriers to entry, he said, “One of the key challenges for a new entrant is to create a space of your own in a market that is dominant by established players. As far as the Bhojpuri Movie genre goes, one has to be mindful that we face stiff competition not only within the genre, but also outside the genre as the audience that consumes Bhojpuri content also consumes Hindi content.”

He further observed, “Unlike Hindi GECs, Bhojpuri audiences are open to viewing new channels. Zee Biskope, which also launched last year, quickly outpaced Bhojpuri Cinema and became the No.1 Bhojpuri channel, according to BARC data for Week 18 (Bihar/Jharkhand (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals). The Bhojpuri market has evolved exponentially, and if we innovate with good content, there is a lot of potential for growth.”

Filamchi’s go-to market strategy is to serve the large appetite for movies that exists within the Bhojpuri audience.

Speaking about their content strategy, Talreja said, “Our biggest property is the World Television Premieres (WTP) that gives an opportunity to a person in a small town or a village to enjoy a blockbuster exclusive title of the biggest stars from that market. Our selectively curated World TV Premieres not only offer differentiation from the competition, but also within the channel with its unique freshness and entertaining values.”

Adding further, he said “We intend to keep our viewers entertained by showcasing WTPs every week in May and June. We have introduced ‘One Break Blockbuster’ once a week on Wednesdays at 1 pm from May 12, wherein viewers will get to enjoy a seamless movie experience. The concept hasn’t been explored within the Bhojpuri genre, so far.”

The channel is giving Bhojpuri audiences a dose of entertainment they never had before. For instance, their film ‘Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Maan Bhaye’, shot in London, was a big hit with the audiences. Another film, ‘Sangharsh’, starring Khesari Lal Yadav, brought women of Bihar back to the cinemas.

IN10 Movie Network is positioning Filamchi as a premium Bhojpuri cinema channel and go-to destination for World Television Premieres (WTP).

“Going forward, we plan to have 3-4 World Television Premieres in a month. We have a strong line-up of star power packed world television premieres like ‘Lohan Pahalwan’ starring Pawan Singh, ‘BaapJi’  starring Khesari Lal Yadav, ‘Sher-e-Hindustan’ starring Nirahua, ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye 2’ starring Pawan Singh, ‘Prem Geet 2’ starring Pradeep Pandey, ‘Chintu’ and many more,” informed Talreja.

While the blockbuster WTPs will bring new viewers to the channel, Bhojpuri audiences’ affinity for heroes like Khesari Lal Yadav, Pawan Singh, Chintu Pandey, and Nirahua will build loyalty to the channel. They will also focus on content-driven movies such as ‘Nachaniya’, with a strong storyline to attract a wider base.

Speaking about pulling a wider audience, Talreja said, “For the morning audiences, we plan to further strengthen devotional songs content as part of the Bhakti Mahima offering from 5 am to 7 am.”

Filamchi is present on platforms like DD Free Dish (18) and DTH platforms like Tata Sky (1114), Airtel Digital TV (665), Den (Bihar/Jharkhand) (836), Siti Maurya (Bihar) (213), Darsh Cable (Bihar) (187), GTPL (277), Siti Cable (Jharkhand) (219), and major cable networks in the region.

“We aim to be among the top three movie channels in the near future and to sustain that position,” concluded Talreja.

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