Discovery Jeet’s pre-launch ad inventory sales overshoot target, says Karan Bajaj

Jeet, the new General Entertainment channel from Discovery Communications India (DCIN) which is going on air from February 12, 2018, has already achieved its pre-launch inventory sales target. The channel’s brand-led partnership approach has seen multiple brands from major conglomerates, including Reckitt Benckiser, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Marico, Mondelez International, Johnson and Johnson, Yellow Diamond and Quickheal come on board even before the launch. 

Karan Bajaj, Senior Vice-President & General Manager - South Asia, Discovery Communications India, commented, “We are enthused with the response that Discovery Jeet has been able to garner from the consumers, the advertising community as well as the affiliate partners. We will be dialing up an aggressive marketing campaign even further as we get closer to the launch of Discovery Jeet.” 

The channel will launch with the highest ever distribution of more than 100 million households in India, and has already signed Netflix as the exclusive global OTT platform, a first by any channel in India to sell Linear and Non-Linear together. 

The company announced unprecedented consumer engagement for the entertainment domain with content trailers of Discovery Jeet achieving a completion rate of 65 per cent on YouTube and 40 per cent on Facebook. This is more than double the industry benchmark of 30 per cent completion rate on YouTube and 20 per cent on Facebook. 

The company further claimed that Discovery Jeet’s content led trailers have cumulatively delivered more than 300 million impressions, more than 100 million views in just over of 2 weeks on YouTube and Facebook. This week, Discovery Jeet will release another 100+ pieces of digital content, with an aim to further intensify its reach on digital and give consumers a glimpse of range of content on offer. 

Bajaj elucidated, “We started speaking about entertaining and inspiring content in all our sales pitches a while ago, but the moment we started showcasing rushes of our shows to advertisers, the response started to change dramatically as they were able to experience Discovery Jeet’s line-up of dramatic, compelling stories of real, relatable characters presented in a cinematic, larger than life format.” 

The aim of the channel is to target the aspiring Indian in the Tier 2 and 3 markets with differentiated content. The marketing plans also include hoardings across major cities and Tier 2 and 3 markets. Discovery also plans to launch promos of its shows in cross-channel promotions. Taproot Dentsu has been roped in to create the promos and campaigns for Discovery Jeet. 

The channel will launch with 5 hours of programming band daily, out of which 3 hours will be bespoke, ground-up original programming built on the thesis of underdog winning. Discovery Jeet will be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. Trailers of two of its flagship shows – ‘Swami Ramdev - Ek Sangharsh’ and ‘21 Sarfarosh’ – are already on air and have crossed 50 million views on YouTube and Facebook. However, Discovery Jeet is not banking on movies, Bajaj said. 

Many of the shows on Discovery Jeet will be finite series with very production value and mounted as mega blockbusters, compared to other GECs, which have long running shows and depend heavily on celeb-led reality shows and movie premieres. Bajaj further said that Discovery Jeet would be based out of Singapore. There would be no last-minute changes in the storylines of the shows on the channel as each would go on air with a large bank of episodes. According to Bajaj, this would help the content creators in writing well-researched content and stories. He also added that in its first quarter, Discovery Jeet is planning to have lesser number of ad breaks and concentrate more on the content.

FTA plans 

The cut-throat GEC space also has a sizeable presence of free-to-air (FTA) channels. Most of the mainline General Entertainment channels have sibling FTA channels catering to the rural GEC HSM segment. 

Bajaj affirmed that Discovery Jeet’s content would not be dumped on to the FTA platform. At the same time, he admitted that the network was mulling over an FTA channel, plans of which would be revealed in time. The FTA launch would be basis what the viewers want.

Discovery Jeet's show line-up: 

Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh is a scripted biopic series tracing Swami Ramdev’s never seen before, inspirational journey from a life of anonymity to a renowned yoga guru, business leader and national icon.  Ajay Devgn FFlims and Watergate Production are the co-producers of the show featuring National Award winner Naman Jain as Ramkishan (Young Ramdev) and Kranti Prakash Jha as Swami Ramdev.

21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897 is a fiction show inspired by the real-life story of 21 brave soldiers of 36th Sikh regiment of the British Indian Army who defended an army outpost at Saragarhi in the North West Frontier Province against an onslaught by over 10,000 Pashtun and Orakzai tribals in September 1897. Produced by Contiloe Pictures Pvt. Ltd, the stellar cast of the show includes Mohit Raina as Havildar Ishar Singh, Mukul Dev as the antagonist Gul Badshah and Luke Kenny as Major Des Voeux.

Mere Papa Hero Hiralal is a moving story of a Lucknow based auto-rickshaw driver Hiralal Tiwari, who driven by the love for his daughter Gungun, is ready to go beyond the ordinary and help her recover from a serious medical issue.  Produced by Viniyard Films, show features Sarwar Ahuja as the main lead Hiralal Tiwari and popular child actor Rivaa Arora as Gungun.

Khan No 1 - Inspired by true events, ‘Khan No 1’ is a lighthearted episodic crime show featuring an array of ‘Bluffmasters’ – men and women who have chosen cons as a solution to their problems.  Inspector Khan is the fictional central character – a ‘Crime Hunter’, a smart, witty, well-experienced cop specializing in solving scams/cases. Renowned film director Rohan Sippy will don the hat of a producer for the first time on Indian television; talented actor Rajesh Sharma also debuts on TV and will play the title role in Khan No 1.

Comedy High School - This non-fiction show is a light-hearted take on society, culture, education and current affairs through a classroom based set up. Comedy High School is a clean comedy show with theme based episodes. The school has teachers from various streams like English, Hindi, Physical Training, Personality Development along with the disciplinarian Principal and the morally uptight Trustee. Lead celebrities will visit the school, every week, in myriad avatars.  The stellar cast includes Ram Kapoor, Gopal Dutt, Paritosh Tripathi, Krishna Bhatt, Jasmeet Bhatia and Deepak Dutta.

Gabru: Hip-Hop Ke Shehzaade -  This fiction show, set in the world of Indian hip-hop music, is produced by Still & Still Moving Pictures and features Amol Parashar as MC Money, Harleen Sethi as Queen B and Chaitanya Sharma as Surf. The show is a mélange of drama, romance and music, with an original hip hop soundtrack.

Anjaan: Special Crimes Unit - a paranormal investigative crime thriller show that allows viewers to dive in to the world of the unexplained events. Produced by Lotus Talkies, Anjaan: Special Crimes Unit features Heena Parmar as Aditi and Gashmeer Mahajani as Vikrant. They investigate crime cases that are connected to the supernatural and bring justice to the ones that can’t be seen, heard or believed by everyone!

Man Vs Wild with Sunny Leone- Sunny Leone will now be showcasing her adventurous side as host of the mega-popular survival series Man Vs. Wild. The iconic series will be telecast in Hindi where the beautiful actor will not only host but also undertake many difficult stunts and adding a dash of humour with her vivacious personality.

Lucha: Dangal Ke Sultan is a wrestling based entertainment show based on the lucha libre style of Mexican wrestling with masked fighters who entertain the audience with their stunts and actions. Each episode contains multiple acrobatic fights with many famous luchadors whose "mythic" beginnings are told in cinematic vignettes throughout.


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