Reality TV taps into Indian realities

By , agencyfaqs! | In | August 03, 2004
In a bid for eyeballs, Reality TV is working on adding Indianized content, and to this end, the channel is experimenting with 'fillers' based on Indian themes

More and more television networks and channels are realizing that to be successful in India, one needs to have localized content. & #BANNER1 & # The latest case in point: UK-based Reality TV, which is working on adding Indianized content to its offering.

To begin with, the channel is experimenting with 'fillers' based on Indian themes. Says Kamlesh Patel, CFO, Reality TV, "Reality TV has universal social appeal as it talks about the true stories of real people. But India definitely is a key focus for the channel as it is the second-largest cable market in the world. As part of our initiatives for Indianizing our content, we are introducing creative fillers which would be centered around India-specific events."

To get real-life content from India, the channel has apparently traversed the length and breadth of India, exploring even remote corners of the country, in search of unique and real facets of India. As a result, Reality TV claims that it has been successful in capturing 10 exclusive shocking footages that involve real people and events.

One such unique individual the channel has discovered is 'Electricman', whose body generates up to 440 watts of electricity. Nine other real and dramatic people and events would be featured by the channel as three-minute fillers. Patel, of course, declines to reveal more on the remaining nine fillers, but says that the initiative marks a beginning, and "more locally produced shows would be aired on the channel soon."

Some of Reality TV's international shows are quite popular among Indian audiences, especially those based on faith and optimism such as Little Miracles and Special Babies. Patel feels these programmes, which transcend national and cultural boundaries, will strengthen the position of Reality TV in India.

Currently, Reality TV has penetrated 15 million Indian households, and Flecka Picardo, marketing manager of Reality TV for India and Asia-Pacific, says, "By focusing on more local themes, the channel is expected to venture into the suburban market." The channel is also aware that reach and revenue is, to some extent, an area of concern. Says Picardo, "We are aware that our channel is not available in many upmarket areas of Delhi and Mumbai. But by strengthening our distribution network, we are confident of coming out of these operational hazards."

Reality TV has recently signed a distribution agreement with ASC Enterprises Limited in India. Under the terms of the agreement, ASC will receive exclusive rights to distribute the channel on its DTH platform, Dish TV, in India, and also have non-exclusive rights for other SAARC countries - namely Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

However, compared to the well-entrenched cable network, DTH is still at a very nascent stage in India. "We are aware of the fact, and this why we have a full-scale marketing plan in place to help promote Reality TV in India," Patel assures. To promote itself, the channel is planning mass media advertising, particularly in print. Apart from this, the channel also plans initiatives such as online campaigns, below-the-line promotions and contests, and aggressive on-air promotions, along with advertising in trade publications. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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