&TV, the new baby in Zee's Bouquet
India’s leading Entertainment Company, ZEEL yesterday has announced the launch of a new channel called &TV a Hindi GEC under their ‘&’ bouquet. The channel is touted to have distinctive content, and intends to meet the changing needs of consumers. The channel also intends to have appealing shows. And ‘&’ has a catchy tagline, ‘Yeh He Jashna, Jashna Jeene Ka.’
With &TV ZEEL now has three general entertainment channels under its bouquet, ZeeTV, Zindagi and &TV and the channel is expected to hit the TV screens in March.
The Need for a GEC:
The whole idea of launching this new GEC was to cater to newer set of audiences. When asked Rajesh Iyer, Business Head, &TV about the same he said, “The need for introducing a new channel was so that we can come up with new content, and that is not possible on the current ZeeTV platform. We want to cater to both set of audiences in the modern India, in the contemporary India. The channel is different in terms of content. We are going to have edgy stories on this channel and it is not possible for us to experiment on the existing ZeeTV. Today in India the audiences are divided and we would want to cater to them.”
In a cheerful mode he said, “It’s like playing tennis doubles, with the William sisters, so if we have to compete with ZeeTV, we will and both of us will give a tough battle to the others.”
It’s Show Time:
The event also saw the unveiling of their flagship property – ‘India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun?’ which is an adapted format ‘Who’s Asking’ by Israel based Armoza. The show will be hosted by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who perfectly personifies the brand and is the epitome of achieving his dreams with pure passion and determination.
Apart from their flagship show there will four other shows.
Begusarai is a quintessential quirky land set in the hinterland of Bihar. No less than a Bollywood blockbuster, the show has been produced by Saregama Productions, the channel has roped in noted film maker Tigmanshu Dhulia to design the first look of this multi-starrer film on TV. The quirky saga of Begusarai promises to light up the small screen with a whole lot of drama and a refreshing dialect.
Furthermore, the channel showcased a magnum opus Razia Sultan, an untold story of the 13th century. Produced by Swastik Productions, the story has been written by Mihir Bhuta and the grandeur of that era has been brought to life by Omung Kumar.
Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai! brought to life the lively lanes of Kanpur, and introduced two neighboring couples. Produced by Edit II, the sitcom promises rib tickling comedy while bringing forth human tendencies.
The channel also unveiled a story that any contemporary Indian will relate to –Badii Devrani. Produced by Shashi Sumeet Production, this family drama brings out the essence of relationships.
With production standards par excellence &TV intends to leave no stone unturned making television viewing a cohesive experience for every household. The brand comes to life with the soulful rendition of “Jashn Jeene Ka” conceptualized and created by one of Bollywood’s most talented duo and the current musical sensations – Sachin-Jigar.
What’s in store?
We at Adgully caught up Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL, Rajesh Iyer, Business Head, & TV along with his team Dorris Dey, Fiction Head Programming and Rachin Khanijo as Marketing Head and Anita Basu from Big Synergy Productions to know more about what the channel will bring to the audiences.
Punit Goenka refused to comment on the distribution and marketing as things will form up eventually. But he did mention that the investment made in terms of launch of the channel is substantial and in line with other GEC’s and that there is going to be a whole new team with separate ad sales for this new channel. However on a separate query on ad cap and BARC this is what he had to say, “We are awaiting the hearing on the ad cap case. The BARC will begin operations shortly, though I don’t know when. But you should wait for some news from their end in the months to come.
He added, “&TV will offer a more substantial viewing experience to an audience that is always seeking fresh and relevant content. The channel extends our Hindi entertainment portfolio under the ‘&’ bouquet and will add to the consolidation of our leading position in the entertainment industry. We are certain that with the launch of &TV, we will capitalize on further such opportunities to build a robust entertainment bouquet and March ahead towards achieving the global ambitions set for the Company.”
Iyer was in full force to all our queries. He said, “& is a symbol of revaluation and the channel has been conceptualized to depict change, stay contextual and contemporary. While the spirit of &TV is young, it is deep rooted in values. We intend to be a power house of Entertainment, by tapping into and harnessing the powerful changes in the thinking, mindset and belief sweeping through this country of billions. As a new channel we will lead with innovation, try new things and new ways to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive environment. We are thrilled to have Shah Rukh Khan as the host of our flagship non-fiction property and we are certain that the audience will enjoy a different side of their superstar! ”
Sharing some more insights about what the strategy is going to be for the channel, Iyer said, “We will be coming up a lot variation in content. You will be seeing some more international formats apart from our flagship show. If there is a need for finite shows, then we will definitely do it. It the show must end, it must end.”
With a whole of curiosity with what all is going to happen in this channel, we asked about the time band, and the target audience to which he said, “The time bands will be of a normal GEC, half an hour or one hour, but not forty three minutes or an odd timing like Zindagi. The target audience is the same as Zee. Like we said earlier, it’s a mainline GEC, only the content is contemporary. And not necessary that contemporary content is exclusive to elite, it’s for the mass as well.”
The team told us that they have taken on board Infectious who takes care of their creativity. On the agency front, they have worked with GroupM’s MEC and for the packaging they have hired an Australian agency called Ink Project. And as of now they have three brand films with which they are going live.
When asked about the marketing and distribution strategy Iyer said, “The distribution will be in line with Zee. We will soon reveal the marketing strategy.”
On a concluding note, Anita Basu from Big Synergy Productions said, “Our flagship show is an Israeli format from Armoza. We have Indianised it and this is probably the first time that Zee has come up with an international format on their platform. We are having twenty episodes as of now due to the availability of the host and we are very excited about the same.” By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit