BIG CBS Networks concludes launch of its 3-channel bouquet with SPARK

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | May 05, 2011
BIG CBS Networks has earmarked Rs 5 crore to promote the channel on various platforms, including digital media, radio, youth touch points, and television.

BIG CBS Networks, the joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International, has launched the third channel in its bouquet, BIG CBS SPARK.

With this, the network concludes the launch of its three BIG CBS channels within a period of six months.

Targetted at the 15-24-year-olds, the youth channel's claims that its programming mix contains an engaging mix of shows that are edgy, cool, entertaining and sexy. SPARK will have access to CBS Studios International's library content such as Hawaii Five-0, 90210, Maximum Exposure, and Smash Cuts.

The network has also acquired international content such as Cheaters from D3 Films, and The Jerry Springer Show from NBC Universal to add to its programming line-up.

The channel will currently be available across 25 million households in India.

SPARK aims to open new doors for marketers of youth brands, in an environment, where there is extremely limited international content targetted at the metro-centric up-market youth. Current youth channels cater to mass audiences beyond the metros, resulting in a high spillover, notes Tarun Katial, chief executive officer, Reliance Broadcast Network.

"SPARK, with its distinct and exciting programming line-up, beckons advertisers as a single stop to address the urban up-market youth. With the total youth population in the country pegged at approximately 460 million, and the current literate youth population growing at a phenomenal speed, this burgeoning market has huge potential," says Katial.

Television emerges a winner in youth media consumption habits, with over 77 per cent of the 333 million literate, with average time spent a day at over 97 minutes. "All these prove to be clear indicators that this channel is chasing just the correct audience mix, one that seeks world-class international content, similar to their counterparts in the west," Katial explains.

With more than 30 per cent of the Indian population in the age group of 15-24 years, marketers are flooding the market with products and services to woo this audience set. Therefore, Katial believes that the business opportunity for this channel remains immense.

BIG CBS SPARK has drawn an aggressive marketing plan to drive the initial sampling of the channel by the youth. It has earmarked Rs 5 crore, which will be used to promote the channel on various platforms, including digital media, radio, youth touch points and television. To increase SPARK's instant connect with the youth, the network has also chalked out an extensive social media marketing plan to reach out to youngsters on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The existing channels of the network -- BIG CBS PRIME and BIG CBS LOVE will be leveraged to drive viewership to the new channel, in addition to other platforms from the group like BIG MAGIC, BIG 92.7 FM and BIG Street. Other Reliance Group platforms like Reliance Worlds, BIG CINEMAS, ZAPAK and BIG FLIX will also be leveraged to ensure SPARK is promoted strongly.

"With the launch of SPARK, we mark the completion of the channels under the BIG CBS bouquet. We have clearly differentiated channels which are segmented to meet a clear audience base. PRIME is more male-skewed, while LOVE is targetted at the 25+ couples. Now, SPARK is a clear youth destination. This ensures we cover the entire gamut of the up-market urban audience. The three channel bouquet, will offer audiences entertainment, while offering marketers extremely focussed platforms to reach their audiences," says Katial.

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