RBNL plans more local content for Big CBS

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 12, 2012
While Big CBS has lined up the second seasons of India's Sexiest Bachelor, I Love Style and India's Glam Diva in early 2013, the new shows on the channel will be Bridelicious, Gossip and Gravy and India's Next Top Model.

Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) has already made big plans for aggressive growth in 2013. As a part of this strategy, it has decided to bring in more localised content on the Big CBS network. Among the 13 shows which it has finalised for the New Year till now, five are India-centric local productions.

The Big CBS network offers three channels - Big CBS Spark, Big CBS Prime and Big CBS Love.

As per the network, the three largest properties which are currently in the pipeline for the next year are American Idol, America's Got Talent and X-Factor. New Sherlock Holmes Season 1 will also be released parallel to the New York telecast. The latest season of America's Got Talent will also be simulcast in the US and India.

Interestingly, all the local productions are reality shows shot in the major target market of the channels. The first one to hit the screens is Bridelicious (on Big CBS Love), which will be aired from November 2012 to January 2013. The show narrates unique stories of brides-to-be as three designers compete to give them the perfect look for their weddings.

Another show, Gossip and Gravy, will be launched during the same time; it combines celebrity gossip with some lip-smacking food.

Following these will be India's Sexiest Bachelor Season 2 (Big CBS Prime), India's Glam Diva Season 2 (on Big CBS Love), I Love Style Season 2 (on Big CBS Love) and India's Next Top Model. Though the formats of the shows have been taken from the international versions that run on the channel, the shows will be produced in India with local contestants.

Anand Chakravarthy

Sunil Kumaran

The network has earmarked about Rs 7-8 crore for marketing in 2013. The other international shows to be launched in the next year include Beauty and the Beast (an emotional drama) and Emilly Watson (a hospital drama show).

The three channels in the network have telecast international content in the initial phase. However, recently, the channel has started producing more local content. The network claims that it is preparing content for the post-digitisation period.

Anand Chakravarthy, business head, Big CBS, explains that after digitisation, marketing will play a very important role in the sampling. He adds, "The channels will have to aim to serve a more focussed audience set. New ways of broadcasting will have to be learnt and understood."

Chakravarthy also mentions that evaluating good opportunities and acting upon the same will be a very important part of the business in the digitised environment.

The language channels of RBNL will also have a lot of local content in the coming year. While Big RTL Thrill will still focus on international content, Big Magic and Big Spark Punjabi will have local productions.

Big Magic and Big Spark Punjabi will host a couple of India-centric shows that will be common for the two channels, but will be shot in their respective regions. The first one to be launched will be Big Memsaab Season 2, which will start by the end of November. However, later in the next year, there will be a cooking show, Saas Bahu aur Swaad, featuring celebrity chef Rakesh Sethi.

Big Fame Star will look for the next movie star of the region and will be shot for Big Magic (MP) and Big CBS Spark Punjabi (Punjab).

Sunil Kumaran, business head, language channels, Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) and language TV head, Big RTL mentions that the marketing spends of the channels will definitely be more than the previous year, since the need to market will increase in the post-digitisation era.

Big Spark Punjabi also started off with a promise to telecast international content dubbed in Punjabi. However, gradually, the channel started producing India-centric content for the channel.

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