Epic TV eyes distribution tie-ups to expand reach of its SVOD service

MUMBAI: Epic Television Networks has big plans for its subscription video on demand (SVOD) service Epic On. Having launched the service in August 2017, the infotainment broadcaster now plans to increase its footprint through distribution deals with telcos, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), VoD platforms, and other connected platforms.

The broadcaster is also planning to create original content for Epic On, which currently offers India-centric, Hindi language TV shows, short videos and specials across genres of sports, food, history, and mythology.

Epic TV’s infotainment content is already available on internet entertainment service Netflix. Now the plan is to reach out to more digital users through content deals with telcos and other VoD platforms.

Telcos like Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea have launched their own over the top (OTT) platforms and are aggregating content from multiple sources to augment their service. OTT players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are also aggregating content besides creating their original content.

“Having established Epic as a key player in the infotainment ecosystem we are looking at enhancing our reach on our OTT platform Epic On that gives people access to our content on the go. Along with this, we are also looking at syndication and collaboration opportunities with other OTT platforms along with partnerships with telcos, device manufacturers, and other connected devices to deliver the EPIC experience,” Epic TV programming & content head Akul Tripathi told TelevisionPost.com.

Tripathi said that the deal with Netflix will be expanded with new shows. “Epic makes content and Netflix is a great platform for Epic’s content to be discovered, especially international and lot of people who don’t get to Epic organically so we are open to these partnerships which enable discoverability of our content and increases the viewership of EPIC,” he noted.

The SVOD platform is priced at Rs 50 a month or Rs 600 a year.

Besides expanding its SVOD service, the company is also strengthening its linear service by offering new shows. As part of that strategy, Epic TV has launched its weekend programming beginning April. Its gameplan for the weekend is to offer one-hour documentaries on varied subjects.

Till-date the channel has aired one-air specials such as Janani, Rampath, G D Bakshi 1965 War and Curry Pow.

On the weekdays, the channel airs original episodic shows. Currently, it has an only original show in weekday primetime. The food show ‘Tyohar Ki Thaali’ airs in the 10 pm slot. The channel is planning to roll-out new seasons of its tentpole shows such as Devlok with Devdutt Patnaik, Khwabon Ka Safaar with Mahesh Bhatt, Adrishya, and Raja Rasoi.

Speaking about the new programming strategy, Tripathi said, “We are committed to bringing new concepts for our viewers that explore India in a new light. Not all stories can necessarily be part of a series, so we are deploying a strategy that involves content curation and commissioning to develop one-hour specials that are aired on weekends.”

The channel caters is skewed towards 15-30 age group male audience. Tripathi said that the channel also gets a fair amount of traction from female audiences as well.

Being an exclusive Hindi centric infotainment channel comes with its own challenges. Tripathi commented that the primary challenge has always been to get audiences to sample the content, which we are countering by extending the availability of the content across platforms and media.

“However, like it is with every new thing, in time everyone catches on and we can see the rush towards Indian content and in that playing field, EPIC has both credibility and top of the mind recall,” he said.