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Viacom18 makes HD push for regional channels

MUMBAI: Upping its game in the regional space, Viacom18 has launched high-definition (HD) feed for three of its regional general entertainment channels—Colors Kannada, Colors Marathi and Colors Bangla.

In two of these regional-language markets, the Viacom18 channels have grown in a big way. Colors Kannada is a leader in the Kannada market while Colors Marathi is a strong No. 2 channel in the Marathi GEC genre.

HD launch  regional GEC

Launching the first HD regional GECs in these markets is yet another milestone in the broadcaster’s regional expansion plans. The channels have become an intrinsic part of the social and cultural fabric of these regions, says the channel.

TelevisionPost.com was the first to report that Viacom18 was planning to launch HD variants of its regional GECs—Colors Marathi, Colors Bangla and Colors Kannada

Sudhanshu-VatsViacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats said, “When we brought the regional GECs under the Colors umbrella, we committed ourselves to raising the bar on regional content. This philosophy saw us attain pole position in the Kannada market, become a strong leader in the Marathi market, and build up the connect with our Bengali viewers. Interestingly, during this period, the regional markets have seen tremendous growth in consumer lifestyles. With the HD launch of our regional channels, we are once again raising the bar by provisioning for the premium viewing experience that the markets now crave.”

Colors Kannada HD will be present on platforms like Siti Cable, DEN Networks, Hathway Cable & Datacom, Kable First India, IndusInd Media, E-infrastructure and Entertainment, Bhima Riddhi Digital Systems and V4 Media among others that offer HD services in Karnataka.

Colors Marathi HD is being launched on Airtel Digital TV and Tata Sky initially and will be rolled out on all other platforms.

Colors Bangla will be available across all MSOs where DAS has been implemented as well as on DTH.

Ravish KumarColors Kannada, Colors Bangla and Colors Odiya project head Ravish Kumar said, “We strive to offer varied content to our viewers without compromising on excellence—be it powerful storytelling, high production values, international reality formats, festival programming, or movie premieres. Our aim is to delight audiences’ every day with an entertaining and cohesive television viewing experience and launching HD channels is yet another pioneering step in that direction.”

Anuj-Poddar---insideColors Marathi and Colors Gujarati project head Anuj Poddar added, “Colors Marathi has consistently innovated and redefined the entertainment landscape for Marathi audiences with its varied bouquet of shows and big-scale events, while yet staying true to the roots of its culture. We are yet again playing a pioneering role and upping the ante by being the first to provide viewers with HD viewing experience.”

As per FICCI-KPMG report 2016, HD channels are contributing significantly to ad revenue growth for some broadcasters. The report noted that HD channels were initially offered as premium ad-free channels and were completely dependent on subscription revenues.

“However, this has changed with broadcasters beginning to monetise HD channel feeds separately for ad revenues. Typically, HD channel rates are higher due to the premium nature of HD channel viewers,” the report stated.

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