After Prime, Big CBS Networks launches Love

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 09, 2011
Big CBS Love will go on air on March 21; the channel is positioned as the ultimate feel-good channel for the contemporary urban couple.

Big CBS Networks, a joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International, has announced the launch of Big CBS Love. The channel is the second of Big CBS Networks' three-channel offering. The first, CBS Prime, a general entertainment channel, went on air on November 29, 2010. Big CBS Spark (a youth channel) is the third, slated to hit homes in April, this year.

Big CBS Love is positioned as a happy, fun channel that is the ultimate feel-good channel for the contemporary urban couple.

Regarding the programming line-up, Aparna Pande, business head, Big CBS Networks tells afaqs!, "We will have the best international shows. The channel will see the return of the Oprah Winfrey Talk Show (all its latest seasons will be aired), Everybody Loves Raymond, a popular comedy show, and King of Queens, among others. We will also bring the latest season of America's Next Top Model."

The Talk, a brave new show, will be aired as an afternoon special. "It is fun and serious at the same time. In the show, successful women will talk about life, and all issues related to it", explains Pande. "It's something every woman must watch."

The channel will have seven hours of original programming every day. On weekends, the channel will offer something new, be it films or special programmes. Just as in the case of Big CBS Prime, for Big CBS Love, primetime is from 8:30 pm, to midnight.

Since it will utilise the base that has already been set up by Big CBS Prime (that was launched in stages), on the day of its launch, Big CBS Love will start with a reach of 30 million HHs (households) across all major digital cable and DTH platforms such as Hathway, In Cable, Digi Cable, DEN, 7 Star, WWIL, ICC, Sun Direct, Reliance Digital, VideoconD3H, and Airtel Digital TV.

It will also be available across many MSOs in smaller centres on their respective digital networks, thus covering a total of 400 cable networks in all. Big CBS Love will also be made available on AsiaSat3S, the most widely reached satellite platform across Asia and Australia.

Big CBS Love announced the launch of the new channel on March 08, International Women's Day. At the event, a panel comprising actor Tannishtha Chatterjee, Punitha Arumugam, chief executive officer, Madison Media Group, fashion designer and politician Shaina NC, and popular television anchor Mini Mathur discussed the relevance of television content today, and whether or not it catered to the modern, independent, and educated woman.

While Mathur was of the opinion that watching television after a hard day's work constitutes 'me time' for today's working women, during which "she would like to watch motivational programmes", Arumugam raised the point that since 95 per cent of Indian homes had just one television, the content should appeal to both men and women.

Shaina's stand was one that discouraged regressive content on television, while Chatterjee addressed the issue of a dearth of female writers and directors in the television industry.

When Big CBS Prime was launched in November 2010, afaqs! had reported that while Big CBS Prime would be available at a rate of Rs 14 in Non-CAS areas, and at Rs 4.9 on DTH platforms, Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love would be available at Rs 11 each, in Non-CAS areas, and at Rs 3.85 each on DTH platforms.

The report had also stated that the channels would be distributed at a rate of Rs 21.2 in Non-CAS areas, and that the commercial rates of the channels had been fixed at Rs 50 for Big CBS Prime, and Rs 30 each for Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love.

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