Fox International Channels (FIC) has rolled out seven international channels in India. Brands such as FX, NGC HD, NG Wild, Fox Crime, NG Adventure, NG Music and Baby TV will now be available through FIC, which is a subsidiary of the Fox Entertainment Group, a part of Rupert Murdoch's global media establishment, News Corporation.
The new launches, coupled with the two existing brands of FIC, National Geographic Channel and Fox History & Entertainment, add up to a basket of nine channel offerings from the network in India.
Talking to afaqs!, Keertan Adyanthaya, managing director, Fox International Channels (FIC) and National Geographic Channel Network India, shares the group's strategy behind launching all the channels at one go, saying, "A multiple launch will lead to greater impact and noise as the audiences will be sampling them one by one. These new launches provide our network more width and breadth, giving us more options to market these channels among each other."
The seven channels offer viewers diversified content covering crime, comedy and music. The channels will entertain viewers with both fiction and factual shows.
All the channels will showcase their popular properties. For example, Fox Crime, dedicated to crime and investigation, will air shows such as Law and Order Franchise and Sleeper Cell; while FX will concentrate on drama and comedy through shows such as Mad Men and Crash.
To begin with, Fox Crime has five to six hours of original programming and FX has four hours of original programming. According to Adyanthaya, for niche channels, what works is intentional marquee programming, which has repeat value - Friends being a classic example.
Out of all the new launches, one brand stands out and appears to be a first of its kind in India. Baby TV is a 24 hour commercial free channel. The channel's TG is young parents and toddlers up to the age of three years.
Adyanthaya feels that in areas where young working parents have little time for their kids and lesser expertise when it comes to parenting, the channel will be a major attraction. Baby TV compares to a play school because early learning skills and development milestones in an infant's life are demonstrated using colours and shapes through various series.
All the channels will be available on DTH, cable and digital platforms. The channels will be available on Tata Sky and Sun Network. On the cable front, the channels are being distributed by STARDEN.
For distribution, FIC is currently looking at a reach of 50-60 per cent by tapping the top 10 MSOs in metros. Through DTH, it is making attempts to reach out to 20 million viewers.
Without sharing the distribution and marketing costs, Adyanthaya says that the key markets for the network's news offerings will be Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune.
Explaining FIC's approach in selling the new brands to advertisers and marketers, Adyanthaya adds, "Channels are best sold individually. It's best to create a need for your product based on the brand's (channel's) strength. Bonus selling results in advertisers not recognising the value of your offering."
Adyanthaya expects that subscription and ad-sales will contribute equal revenue in a ratio of 50:50 for the network.