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Big Magic Ganga returns to DD’s Freedish to expand reach

MUMBAI: Reliance Broadcast Network’s regional channel Big Magic Ganga has charted out a strategy to regain its numbers and bounce back on the ratings chart.

For starters, the channel will be back on the free-to-air (FTA) DTH service DD Freedish on 15 November.

The network believes that once the channel is on the Freedish platform, the rural reach will increase significantly helping the channel reclaim the leadership position.

Ashwin PadmnabhanReliance Broadcast Network COO Ashwin Padmanbhan said, “Larger measured reach means better value for advertisers. From our business perspective, it will help drive better pricing and volumes on the channel.”

The channel went off the Freedish platform in a bid to go pay in August 2015. Although it will air as a pay channel on other platforms, Big Magic Ganga will continue to be present on Freedish.

Explaining the strategy, Padmanabhan said, “Big Magic Ganga is a channel focused on UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and the Freedish platform reach in these markets is significantly high. These markets are driven by rural viewership and DD Freedish in that sense is probably one of the best platforms to reach out to that viewership.”

After BARC had started reporting rural data, Big Magic Ganga slipped to No. 3. Most recently, the channel was placed at No. 5 in Week 43.

“We want to make the channel available to a larger audience base. The numbers that the FTA channels are reporting validate our strategy. We expect a five-time growth in reach following our channel’s availability on DD Freedish and this should take us back to a 100+ GRP channel in the region,” explained Padmanabhan.

With this distribution strategy, the channel expects its absolute reach to increase significantly in terms of GVTs.

With an estimated subscriber base of over 18 million, DD Freedish claims to be the largest DTH platform in the country.

When asked how it would affect subscription revenues since the channel remains pay on other platforms, Padmanabhan said, “We are trying to make Ganga a leading player not just in the Bhojpuri region but also at the HSM level. Based on our investment in distribution, we believe that the ROI will be significant in terms of better valuation and better pricing, which will then translate into better revenues.”

The network expects to see a jump in viewership by the end of November, when the numbers start reflecting.

Thus, it is also realigning its content strategy and is broad-basing some of the content to have a wider appeal.

“We will look at adding more topical stuff and making the language more universal. Nevertheless, the core insights for our channel remain the same,” he revealed.

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