Cellcast to launch interactive TV channel MyTV

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 16, 2012
MyTV plans to take a purely interactive route to generate revenue.

After working on a series of interactive TV programmes and shows based on mobile subscription, Cellcast Interactive India has launched a social TV channel in India. Christened MyTV, the channel will be a free-to-air, ad-free channel, wherein brands will be directly integrated into the content. MyTV is funded by Canaan Partners and Vertex Venture Holdings.

Pankaj Thakar


With immediate focus on the metros and major cities of various states, MyTV will be available across the western, eastern, and northern belts of the country.

In its first phase, MyTV aims to reach out to over 35 million analog and digital homes, including multiple DTH platforms. Customer interaction will be across three platforms -- television, internet (including social media platforms), and mobile. BAG Network will be the official distribution partner of the channel, which targets the 15+ age bracket.

"With a change in the profile of the television audience over the last few years, there has been a shift in the way the younger audience wants to interact with television content. MyTV will fill this void by offering viewers an opportunity to connect and interact with content actively, rather than just view it as passive participants. The content offered by the channel includes both contests and informative shows," says Pankaj Thakar, founder and CEO, Cellcast.

MyTV will feature approximately 20 hours of programming. This will include shows such as Bid2Win, My Studio, The Big Deal, Chor Machaye Shor, Laughter Tambola, Glitter Mania and One2Many. Some of its properties such as Gold Safe and Cricket Howzatt, are already running on other channels and will also be featured on MyTV. The shows will be hosted by various TV and Bollywood stars including Aman Verma, Swapnil Joshi, and Sudha Chandran.

Cellcast is also in talks with leading names from the independent music scene in a bid to identify and mentor talent on its show MyStudio, the company claims.

Thakar adds, "All the shows will be in-house productions. The model works on direct participation of the viewers through IVR, internet, and SMSes. We may tie up with the concerned operators and service providers. For the internet route, credit card payments will be involved. We also plan to introduce cash cards for the same. The involvement of brands will offer them a platform to be visible to the customer, and at the same time, interact with them. The theme of the channel will be 'Pay and Participate'."

Elaborating on the promotion and visibility of MyTV, Ashutosh, COO, MyTV, notes that the elimination of ad-breaks on MyTV will help keep its audience engaged.

"Today, there are enough fresh ideas to go viral on. We depend upon our technological back-end when it comes to reaching out to the people. And, because of this, we avoid media wastage to the maximum. We are very strong on our telecommunication and on-line businesses, which help us reach our audience at the most reasonable cost," says Ashutosh.

Last year, Cellcast provided 4,000 hours of content across various channels and plans to increase it to 10,000 hours this year. In the next one year, the company aims to aggregate more than 100 million interactions with consumers.

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