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Essel Group’s Living Entertainment targets 3 channel launches this fiscal

MUMBAI: Essel Group-owned Living Entertainment, which launched food and lifestyle channel Living Foodz last year, is planning to roll out three channels this fiscal.

The company has targeted a launch date of 1 August for Living Zen, a channel dedicated to wellness.

Next to roll out is Living Travelz. This will happen towards the end of the year or early next year.

Living Foodz will get a high-definition (HD) feed later in the year. It will also go linguistically regional this year and the first one will be Tamil.

Piyush Sharma“We should be launching Living Zen around 1 August. Looking at happiness as the key positioning, the channel will be dedicated to health and wellness. This genre of channel does not exist in India,” Zee Living India APAC CEO Piyush Sharma told TelevisionPost.com.

Given the under-penetrated and under-leveraged state of the factual entertainment category, this holds immense potential. “Globally, the factual entertainment category has 11.5% audience share and nearly 20% advertising revenue share contribution. In India, the audience share is 1.5% and the ad revenue share is 2%. So I would think that it has got to do with the evolution of the market,” Sharma said.

Living Entertainment’s next launch will be about travel. “Living Travelz will launch towards the end of the year or early next year. Travel is not only about the destination. It is also about the individual who is travelling. We have a very clear-cut business and positioning strategy, which is enabled by qualitative and quantitative research on what exists in the market,” elaborated Sharma.

All the channels under Living Entertainment will have a strong international focus.

Progress of Living Foodz

Sharma is enthusiastic about the progress that Living Foodz has made. “It has outperformed our own expectations. We are almost at the verge of breaking even. This has happened even before the end of our first full year of operations. The brand has attracted advertisers beyond the hygiene and food categories,” he explained.

More advertiser spread

Living-Foodz-cover-LogoTalking about Living Foodz’s advertisers, channel business head Amit Nair said that auto, ecommerce and lifestyle brands have been active.

“Food advertisers account for about 50% when you would have expected them to take a lion’s share of advertising. The infotainment and lifestyle genre is worth close to about Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion). This is one of the most exciting genres where different kinds of content are being made,” he added.


In terms of the programming strategy, there are three levels. “One is tentpoles like ‘Ganga’. Then there are lifestyle shows for the evening time band. The other quotient is culinary shows for the afternoon time band where recipes are the most important takeaways. These are the three legs on which the content strategy works,” said Nair.

‘Ranveer’s Café’ has a combination of music and food content. Music is an integral part of the narrative as the chef cooks along with budding musicians. “We are looking at interesting concepts like this. We will also probably get into reality content, which is a popular format. We have not explored that, but probably this year you will see something like that as well,” averred Nair.

In terms of giving a show the go ahead, the channel has a couple of filters. “The first is whether it is unique in its space. How much can we differentiate? Can it travel across not only India but also abroad? It should have a common denominator that connects with people across the world. These are the two filters,” Nair explained.

Time slot

The channel focuses on two time zones. The evening starts from 8 pm and runs until 10 pm while the afternoon stretches from 1 to 4 pm. More women watch it because of the recipe nature of the shows. However, on weekends there are male audiences who get hooked on to the channel.

Living Foodz’s future launches

Nair said that Living Foodz will look at an HD feed as well as language feeds in the coming months. “We start off with the South. This is our first priority. Hence, Tamil would be first. Then we will look at more markets. The HD feed would probably happen towards the end of the year,” he added.

Nair noted that the genre is well represented because of the ‘Alpha Club’, which is a special report that BARC releases every month. “You will see that Living Foodz has a lion’s share of the market,” he summed up.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra expects the new business under Living Network to rake in revenues of Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) annually in the next four to five years.

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