Entertainment, an arm of Reliance ADAG, has applied to the ministry of information and broadcasting to launch 20 news and non-news television channels. Reliance is looking to launch five general entertainment channels and five movie channels as well as music, lifestyle and news channels.
As a company, Reliance has always targeted the masses, rather than niches, in most of its business ventures. It is likely to follow the same policy for its TV business. The positioning of all the channels will be mass. The company is not likely to launch any speciality channel for the time being; at least, there are none among those for which it has filed its application. The GECs, movie channels, music channels, news channels and lifestyle channel will have content to which the audience relates readily and which has mass appeal in both metros and regional areas.
The Hindi movie channel is likely to be first off the block, around July. Reliance Entertainment plans to feature well-known and popular Bollywood movies on this channel. Acquiring content for the channel doesn't seem to be a problem, as the film production division of the company, Adlabs Films, already has several commercially successful films in its bank, including Gangaajal, Waqt, Taxi No 9211, Bluffmaster, Nishabd and Namastey London.
Commenting on the launch strategy, a source close to the development says, "A bouquet strategy can work very well for Reliance ADAG in the television business. Reliance has always believed in the power of large scale operations while entering any new arena, unlike other companies, such as the Times Group, which launched just one channel, Zoom, and sat quietly for three years. Instead of launching one or two channels, it is better to reach out to a large part of the market with unique offerings for every segment. It provides better scope for growth."
Reliance Entertainment is researching the market at the moment to design and hone the content for its upcoming channels. The non-news and news channels will be managed and launched under two separate divisions of Reliance Entertainment. After the Hindi movie channel, the Hindi GEC and three regional GECs will be next in line for launch. They should be launched in August.
The movie and music channels will address regional audiences along with the Hindi and English segments. The news channels will comprise two or more channels for both Hindi and English speaking audiences. The channels will focus on business and general news in both languages.