Tata Sky will now curate exclusive horror, thriller and crime content to subscribers. Can it match the mojo of OTT platforms?
Before the 'Saas-Bahu' soaps took Indian television by storm, horror and thriller genres ruled the small screen, along with the perennials: Cricket and Mythology.
If you ever watched 'Aahat', the horror anthology, you couldn't possibly forget the purple shade of the title in the opening sequence. From the eerie music to the white sarees and screams, not many Indian horror shows have been able to match the effect 'Aahat' had on its viewers.
And neither can TV viewers of the 1980s and '90s forget Pankaj Kapur and Sushmita Mukherjee as detective Karamchand and his assistant Kitty, respectively.
It may be that the pull of these genres is stronger than expected, and that's why Tata Sky has decided to offer an exclusive line-up of shows around them, called 'Adbhut Kahaniyan'. The content distribution and Pay TV platform will offer, on its channel 144, a curated line-up of original shows, web series, and movies on horror, crime, and thriller genres.
Also, for the first time, the platform will adapt stories from the Hindi heartland magazine ‘Manohar Kahaniyan’. In addition, the platform will also offer shows like 'Aahat', 'Karamchand', 'Powder', 'Gehariyaan', and so on.
Tata Sky has roped in Ashutosh Rana, who's known for enacting some of the most memorable and spine-chilling roles in movies such as 'Sangharsh' and 'Dushman'. The DTH operator has released two ads to talk about the service, each offering a glimpse of what's to come.
In the first ad, we see Rana reading 'Manohar Kahaniyan' and then going to the kitchen to make tea. While making tea, he describes, in a calm demeanour, the character profile of a serial killer. And as he bends down to pick up a bloody knife, we see a dead body in the background.
The second ad shows Rana talking about how different stories evoke different emotions. And how some stories tend to scare the daylights out of us. He then talks about 'Manohar Kahaniyan' and how he's bringing the stories to life on 'Adbhut Kahaniyan'.
Historically, crime and thriller shows have done well on Indian TV. OTT platforms seem to have captured many eyeballs. So, using the genres of crime, horror, and thriller could work in favour of Tata Sky as it tries to bring back people to the original screen, the TV.
As more OTT players enter the Indian market (Disney+ made its debut in India on March 11, 2020), viewers may get confused when it comes to choosing between various platforms. This could prove to be a blessing for other media, like television. A niche offering like 'Adbhut Kahaniyan' can be successful in making the family sit and watch TV together in one room, rather than stare at individual screens in different rooms.
The service went live on March 5, and Tata Sky has collaborated with Shemaroo Entertainment, one of India's leading content creators, to bring this offering to life.