Christened Maayboli, the new 'music+comedy' channel from the Sri Adhikari Brothers network was officially launched on August 8. The network is largely known for its two channels - SAB TV (which was sold to MSM in 2005) and Mastii (a Hindi music channel).
Maayboli will telecast Marathi music interspersed with comic content. Well known faces in the Marathi comedy genre such as Sunil Tawde, Anshuman Vichare, Pradip Patwardhan and Santosh Pawar, amongst others, have been roped in for short (4-5 minute) comic skits to be presented in between songs.
The programming will be largely divided into four parts during the day; Bhakticha-Thheva (devotional music) in the morning, followed by Priteechi Jhul Jhul Gaani (romantic songs), Mast madmast (regular movies music) and Sur Tech Chhedita and Chandne Shimpit Jashi (for light music).On weekends, the channel may telecast content based on the Marathi film industry and its stars.
Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network says that Hindi and Marathi music channels are different in nature. "Hindi music is vast. There are innumerable songs, but in the Marathi music industry, that is not the case. Hence, to feed the channel 24X7, we had to blend the music programming with something. Comedy was the best thing we could have chosen."
Anita Verma, vice-president, programming, Mastii, will take care of the new free-to-air channel too. The channel sports the tagline, 'Aapli Aaplya Mansaanchi'. This is the group's second attempt in the Marathi market. Mi Marathi was the first channel launched by the group when the Marathi television market was nascent, in 2007, and the group still holds a stake in the channel.
Test runs of Maayboli are being conducted on some cable and MSO platforms since May, 1. While a few websites reported that the channel was 'launched' on May 1, some others mention the launch of the channel in December, 2012.
It is interesting to note that though the Marathi television market is growing vibrantly, the advertising pie of the industry remains at about Rs 400 crore. Also, as per the latest KPMG report, the viewership share of Marathi channels remains at about 17 per cent of the total regional space.