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BIG CBS to launch the BIG CBS HD channel this quarter

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | October 13, 2011
Called BIG CBS HD, the new HD (high definition) channel will host a mix of select content chosen from the programming library of all the three Big CBS channels -- Big CBS Prime, Big CBS Love and Big CBS Spark.

BIG CBS Networks, the equal joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International, is gearing up for its next phase of growth.

The network, which currently boasts of three English channels in its bouquet, is working on a fresh content line-up to give a fresh push to its audience viewership, and thus, subscription revenues. Meanwhile, to provide more muscle to the distribution of its already existing three-channel bouquet, the network will launch a new high definition channel this quarter.

Called BIG CBS HD, the new HD (high definition) channel will host a mix of select content chosen from the programming library of all the three Big CBS channels -- Big CBS Prime, Big CBS Love and Big CBS Spark.

"The content selected will be based on how visually impactful that show or programme is so that it is suitable to the HD quality," said Nikhil Mirchandani, business head, Reliance Broadcast Network.

Meanwhile, to further add to the overall distribution strength of its television business, RBNL is planning to launch one of the two channels under its 50:50 joint venture with the RTL Group in the following quarter.

With this move, coupled with the fresh content acquired for its English channels with CBS, RBNL expects its TV subscription revenues to increase to 25 per cent from the current 10 per cent currently in the next one year, notes an optimistic Mirchandani.

On the content front, localisation will be a key factor to drive viewership forward. Therefore, for Prime, the channel will get on board the show Aspire to add to the already existing BIG Wheels and the just finished India's Sexiest Bachelor. Aspire and BIG Wheels are formats that are borrowed from BloombergUTV. Aspire, hosted by VikramOza, covers money, cars, gadgets, watches, movies, music, people and market trends, while BIG Wheels is tailored to give men an update on cars and bikes and the like, and is powered by AutoCar India. The show is hosted by ace rally driver Renuka Kirpalani and AutoCar India editor Hormazd Sorabjee.

For BIG CBS Love, the local content line-up will include Bollywood Tonight (ongoing), India's Glam Diva (To be launched this quarter) and Jo Fit HaiWoh Fit Hai (to be launched this quarter).

Says Mirchandani, "We are happy with the way the Big CBS channels have shaped and delivered. The channels have grown the market and we have been able to bridge the existing void in international quality programming that existed. We now enter our next growth phase and are completely equipped with our hand-picked shows that match the tastes and sensibilities of our target audiences."

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