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Epic TV ropes in Patanjali distributor Pittie to oversee revenue; Samat to focus on digital
MUMBAI: Epic Television Networks, which owns and operates GEC Epic TV and Epic TV HD, has roped in Pittie Group CEO Aditya Pittie as a director of the company.
In his role, Pittie will lead the day-to-day operations of the linear TV channel, focusing on all the commercial functions of revenue and expense. He will be responsible for facilitating stronger monetisation and alliances with advertisers and MSOs.
Mahesh Samat, the founder and MD of the company, will continue to be on the board of the company. He will concentrate on the strategic and business development areas of the company with a focus on digital and non-linear opportunities.
Pittie, which has interests in real estate, media and FMCG, is the exclusive distributor of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s FMCG brand Patanjali. The company also owns and operates TV channels Sanskar TV and Shubh TV. The company plans to launch two more channels called Shubh Music and Shubh Cinema. The Shubh-branded channels are under Shubh Media.
Epic was launched in November 2014 as a genre-specific Hindi GEC focusing on Indian history, folklore and mythology. The channel has been finding it difficult to garner enough viewership despite positioning itself as a channel with differentiated content.
The company counts two of India’s biggest magnates, Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani and Mahindra Group’s Anand Mahindra, as investors. Ambani and Mahindra own a little more than 25% each in the company while Samat owns 48.5%.
“Epic is a strong brand in the television space and it’s an honour for me to lead the team and fulfil its legacy. In this phase of the company, we will focus on monetisation and work with our customers very closely to help brands and businesses achieve their goals through unique partnerships, while continuing to grow EPIC’s viewership,” Pittie said.
Samat stated, “Aditya will bring in fresh energy and a new impetus behind EPIC. As the channel moves from the first phase of launch to the next phase of consolidation and monetisation, we need leadership that will take EPIC to this next key step on its long-term journey. With his drive, focus and result-orientation, Aditya is uniquely qualified to lead the linear television business into the future.”
Epic’s content and stories are a celebration of India’s rich culture and ancient history. The company has close to 500 hours of unique and original content in Indian history, folklore and mythology, using a very contemporary story-telling approach.
However, the landscape of video streaming is changing dramatically due to the increase in mobile internet users, which is expected to reach to 792 million by 2018. This represents a huge opportunity to showcase great content to urban viewers. The Indian diaspora of 27 million people also represents great potential for good quality content.
Samat added, “Digital is the most significant opportunity for content creators, and Epic is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this opportunity with its strong and distinctive content. With the app and other syndication opportunities, we expect this to be a strong part of the business model in the coming years.”