Mumbai : Leaderspeak With Tarun Katial CEO of Reliance Broadcast Networks Ltd (RBNL) is a happy man, the reason RBNL’s Channel BIG GANGA continues to flow on its chartered course to be the leader in UP-Bihar-Jharkhand Market with the Channel Big Ganga commanding a 58% viewership share as per the BARC data for the Period: wk08’17 to wk11’17 in Bihar & Jharkhand Market.
Tvnews4u.com had an exclusive chat with Tarun for its knowledge sharing segment – Leaderspeak and spoke to him on the progress and future plans for the channel. In-fact for the first time he has spoken in detail on BIG GANGA – the channel that is considered to be close to his heart:
Tvnews4u: Your take on brand BIG Ganga
Tarun: The reason I wanted to talk about Ganga is I never spent time talking about it to the Media. Unfortunately in our long list of priorities sometimes get forgotten and it’s such a hidden gem in our portfolio that it is worth talking about it as we continue to make big strides in this region.
Actually, it’s in this UP election we realised as to how important we were. We have always known how much, how well our channel does. Lot of Political ads coming our way didn’t come because of classic Media Planning- Buying but how much is our reach because the advertiser, which is the political party, has the native understanding of the region and its Media consumption. So they were relying on us to take their message to the people out there.
Ganga as the name suggests is such an integral part of Eastern UP and Bihar. As we say ‘’As the Ganga flows’’.
The Channel operates out of Patna with a full-fledged Office of a Marketing Department, part Programming and Crew.
We are the only Entertainment channel to be there and doing considerable regional content from Patna.
Tvnews4u: What or who is your Competitor
TK: We have no competition as such; the only big players there are the News Channels.
All Hindi GEC is out of Mumbai and if any Bhojpuri Content/ Movies is also from Mumbai and Delhi.
We are the only ones operating from the region, a very difficult task to create a complete genre; generally viewership comes in a block to a set of channels and watch. People really don’t know how to position us, whether its language, music, movies, entertainment or GEC.
Tvnews4u: How has BARC positioned you and your take on the positioning?
TK: BARC has positioned as a Bhojpuri language Channel. We are happy at their process as they have enlarged their base and got into regional and rural markets.
We are happy at this positioning as its good for us because Bhojpuri as a region was under leveraged in terms of its presence in the Media.
Bhojpuri film industry is massive with 200 films being produced every year, and they have their own big icons in Bhojpuri Ravi Kisan, Manoj Tiwari.
Tvnews4u: Reach and Uniqueness of BIG Ganga
TK: We have big reach in Mumbai and get GVT numbers. Movies give us 20%of our overall GRP an 80% on Content.
One thing unique about this region and its people is their attachment and proud of their Culture. You can have an outside ring view of Bhojpuri is that and Bhojpuri is this, but the Inside out view is we are proud of who we are just like the Bengalis/Marathis who are very attached to their language/cultures.
Most of the other Hindi speaking viewer is homogenous and watch Hindi content. But in the Hindi speaking belt – both Bhojpuri and Marathi have a Hindi overlap. Both these markets are unique in their media Consumption. They consume Hindi and also continue to consume Bhojpuri with a lot of parochial pride.
This is the kind of connect we wanted to tap and we were in a unique position as we were the first off the block.
Tvnews4u: Why and what was the thought in going totally Bhojpuri
TK: We had a channel called BIG Magic we then took the Mother Channel Nationally and branded it as a Comedy Channel.
We realised we had created a franchise of the brand presence and shouldn’t let it go waste. We made 2 channels out of one BIG Magic Bihar & Jharkhand and BIG Magic. BIG Magic Bihar & Jharkhand continues with its programming of Police Files. Bhakti Samrat, Reality Shows and that Metamorphed into BIG GANGA. We realised that the Magic brand was overlapping into each other so we gave it a unique branding and thus BIG Magic Bihar & Jharkhand became BIG Ganga, we dropped Magic. We also wanted to do it in an evolutionary way than just jump into it.
Tvnews4u: Why morning as a Prime time
TK: We realised that morning starts early as compared to classic big city metros. Faith is a big content, and as faith and devotion was not served in an audio – visual format to them we realised it was a good game to play in the early morning slot to connect with the consumer. So we built an original content of 2 hours every day.
Bhakthi Sagar is our No1 Brand and No1 show in the region.
Another show Prabhu Se Preet lagaye and a third show plays 365 days with new content every day. We have invested a lot and these shows give us numbers.
We decided to play on the Positive side of the region, as in the past 10-12 years seen a great change. The region has made progress both in the economy and quality of life. We decided to play on this aspect in terms of Culture/language. We created a whole host of brands which gave them a platform to showcase their talent and aspirations.
BIG Memsaab is in its 8th season, here woman come and dance /sing leaving their inhibitions behind. We were happy to see that they are finally breaking free of their shackles.
BIRHA which focuses on local culture/ values is a big hit. We release the show digitally and it has got 100 thousand views on YouTube. Digital consumption is huge and totally organic content.
Tvnews4u: Does the Channel rely heavily on Reality Shows
TK: We felt we needed to give the consumer an aspirational platform. We have 5-7 brands every quarter, also all festivals are celebrated with fervour and pomp.
We also do Docu Fiction – Ganga Gaurav and Ganga Shaurya, where-in the local talent is highlighted and we celebrate local heroes and achievers which the region and people are proud of.
All this is original content.
On Evening prime Time we source content from our sister channel and dub it in Bhojpuri. We have not invested in original content.
Our Bouquet for the day on the channel is well balanced. Morning Devotional, Afternoon Movies, Evening Comedy, Night Mythology/ Soaps dubbed and Reality. We do at least 2 big events every month.
Effects of Digitisation
TK: We are on every digital, DTH platform. We waited for 3 yrsand held on to our content and did it on our own terms as we were sure of the content we had created. We were fundamentally clear that we will not pay. We believe that Content is King and quality is very important.
Tvnews4u: Advertisers and brands
TK: An interesting story – when we started, most felt that the footprints of existing GEC was already there so why invest in another, but Savvy advertisers like HUL were already there.
We then put a team together to do a lot of number crunching to show that when you advertise with BIG GANGA you get an additional 40% of reach in the market.
Others took time to realise and eventual progression of others to think of the significance of the Market of UP-Bihar-Jharkhand. They now not only advertise in our channel but have started making Bhojpuri variants of their ads. P&G / Colgate dub in Bhojpuri. We have a bouquet FMCG/ Auto/ Banking/ EComm / SME from the region and Government ads from 3 States.
Tvnews4u: Initiatives in Connecting Brands with audience
TK: Most of our brands run 360’ for Reality Talent outsource. Radio plays a big role and we use Radio to outsource contestants. Once content is created, the shows are simulcast on radio as well.
Eventually all shows culminate on ground in Varanasi. So any brand which associates with the show gets a complete 360 degree exposure and connect. We are in a unique place to deliver, by the month end we will have the largest footprint of Radio in the region Varanasi, Patna, Muzzaffarpur, Gorakhpur, Ranchi and Jamshedpur. We as ONE Network with 7 Radio Channels overlapping with a TV Channel that puts us in a unique place.
Tvnews4u: Way Forward
TK: By mid-year our merger will be complete and we will retain the BIG brand