Viacom 18's new GEC to be called Colors

By , agencyfaqs!, Bangkok | In Media Publishing
Published : May 06, 2008
The channel banks on actor Akshay Kumar to break the clutter and garner initial sampling


18, the 50:50 joint venture between Viacom and Network18, has announced the launch of its first channel - a Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) - in an action-packed show by none other than Hindi film actor Akshay Kumar.

The channel, which is expected to be launched in July, will be called Colors.

This will be the 10th Hindi GEC on Indian television and, to break the clutter, the channel has brought in Akshay Kumar to host a show, Khatro Ke Khiladi, based on the famous reality show, Fear Factor. To add more glamour quotient to the show, the channel has brought in well known female actors and models such as Yana Gupta, Pooja Bedi, Meghna Naidu, Aditi Govitrikar, Sonali Kulkarni, Tapur Chatterjee and Dipannita Sharma.

As Rajesh Kamat, chief executive officer, Viacom 18, says, "We have worked on the 3Ds - distribution, differentiation and disruption."

Kamat adds that distribution will be key for the channel for the initial sampling among viewers. And the channel is leaving no stone unturned to place Colors among the first 20 channels, even if it means paying carriage fees to the last-mile operators. Kamat admits that carriage fees are today part of the marketing budget.

Ashvini Yardi, Akshay Kumar and Rajesh Kamat at the launch
The second show that the channel is banking on is a love story in the backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle, around 1942. The show is called Mohe Rang De.

Elaborating on why the channel has been called Colors, Kamat says, "The new channel will paint the general entertainment genre with different shades of emotions."

The channel also plans to have differentiated scheduling of programmes, which Kamat hopes will play an important role in its success. In fact, while talking to agencyfaqs!, Kamat revealed that it was very important for the channel to have one big ticket show supported by two good shows. And if the channel is successful in achieving this, it will be able to garner the initial sampling and viewership, and then further strengthen its prime time with new shows, which could come after and before this prime time - a strategy similar to the one STAR Plus adopted and implemented successfully in extending its prime time from 7pm to as late as 11.30pm.

The channel boasts of having shows in the pipeline which will cater to viewers across age groups and genders. Kamat says, "It will promote cohesive viewing in the family." In fact, every GEC, or even sports channel for that matter (keeping the IPL campaign on SET Max in mind), adheres to this philosophy as 97 per cent of Indian households are still single TV homes.

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