Sony Sab’s ‘Baalveer Returns’ to have digital-first premiere on SonyLIV

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India’s (SPNI) Hindi GEC Sony Sab is bringing back its fantasy TV series ‘Baalveer’ in a new avatar from 10th September. The show will return to the channel after almost three years. Christened ‘Baalveer Returns’, the show will premiere first on SonyLIV followed by the TV airing.

‘Baalveer Returns’ will air from Monday to Friday at 8 pm on Sony Sab. It will have a pre-release on SonyLIV in the morning at 9 am for premium subscribers. The show will be available for catch-up on SonyLIV post the TV airing. This is the first show from SPNI network to premiere first on digital.

“Baalveer is the first show from our network which is digital-first. It will be first premiered on SonyLIV at 9 am on 10th September for premium subscribers. The show will be available for premium customers at 9 am every day. Catch-up will be at 8.30 pm once the show has aired on Sony Sab,” SPNI MD and CEO NP Singh said at the launch event of the show.

Produced by Optimystix Production, the show will be action-packed with wizardry and superpowers to keep viewers intrigued. With some of the best in class visual effects and cutting-edge stunt work, Sony SAB’s Baalveer Returns will surely wow audiences with its gripping storyline, dazzling sets, and brilliant performances.

Set against the backdrop of the two mystical worlds of Veer Lok and Kaal Lok, this magical ride of epic proportions will showcase Baalveer on a journey, this time with some exciting new companions. This show will witness the boy wonder Dev Joshi, who is now grown up, on a quest to find a successor worthy enough to carry on his legacy, following the complete annihilation of erstwhile Pari Lok.

The show also boasts a distinguished lineup of stars including Sharmilee Raj as Baal Pari. Shreedhar Watsar in the double role of Duba Duba and Tauba Tauba.

Khushi Mukherjee as Jwaala Pari, Amika Shail as Vaayu Pari, Anuradha Khaira as Dhwani Pari, Krutika Desai as Masti Pari, Bhaweeka Chaudhary as Paani Pari, Aditya Sidhu as Bhaymar and Atul Verma as Jabdali.

The show will also have two magical characters namely Shaurya, the white lion guiding Baalveer and Akroor, the evil Black Panther.

Talking on the sidelines of the show launch, Sony Sab, Pal and Sony Max movie cluster business head Neeraj Vyas said the channel is bringing back the show in 2019 as it wanted to add a new dimension to it. Vyas also stated that he was tempted to bring this show back the moment he took charge of Sony Sab.

“We had to be ready to bring this back. Also at that point of time, shutting down a show and bringing it back in the same vein would not have made sense. Sony Sab has moved a long way in the last two years. The channel’s journey today is different from what it used to be in the older days,”

He, however, feels that the show has come at the right time. It has taken Sony Sab and Optimystix Production six months to make this show. He also noted that this is one of the most expensive shows of the channel.

Vyas also said that he had planned the launch of this show post the implementation of the new tariff order (NTO). He also sees ‘Baalveer Returns’ as one of the driver shows for the channel.

“In this day and age, one needs to be blessed to have these kinds of marquee shows. The entire game has changed in the new regime. Every family member matters,” he said.

Compared to other Sony Sab shows, ‘Baalveer Returns’ has a bigger scale besides being pacey and full of energy. “Clearly, in terms of scale at a basic level it’s got a lot more energy, it’s got a lot more pace, it’s got very interesting storylines. It’s not just about good vs evil. Good is also going see a lot of pitfalls in this,” Vyas said.

He also believes that this show will be watched by the entire family unlike its original avatar when it out an out catered to kids. “We have a new character Vivaan (Vansh Sayani) which will bring freshness, his own appeal and set of followers. We will extend our number of viewers,” he added.

According to Vyas, retaining audiences has become more important than adding new audiences. “In TV, it’s very important to have a number of viewers because you not only have to retain them but also grow them. It has been very difficult to grow the audience base, therefore, retaining the audience is also a big deal.”

Sony Sab’s key markets are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, and Delhi besides Kolkata. UP is not a key strong market for the channel as it has a different set of audiences. “UP is not our strong market but now we have to take a call whether we want to be strong there or not. But if I have to cater to UP I have to create that kind of content and if I do that I will lose my core audience.”

In the NTO regime, segmentation is the reality that all broadcasters have to live with. “We can’t be everything for everyone.”

SonyLIV Business Head Digital Business Uday Sodhi said, “We are excited to bring this iconic show to our digital viewers in India on our OTT platform. For the first time ever, Baalveer Returns will be available on SonyLIV a few hours prior to its televised broadcast to all premium subscribers. This is an innovation to get the mobile-first audience to watch the show and add to the excitement that the show offers. SonyLIV has always been a frontrunner in streaming relatable content to its viewers and this is our endeavour in that direction.”

Optimystix Entertainment Founding Chairman & MD Vipul D Shah added, “Baalveer Returns has been produced such that it revolutionizes the way people watch fantasy dramas on television. Besides the new cast, a lot of effort has gone into designing the costumes and the sets, so that we provide a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat, visual treat to the viewers. The fans are in for a real extravaganza! Besides the look and feel of the show, a lot of fine work has gone into the scripting which will get the fans hooked on to the show and we hope to receive the same love & approval they have shown before.”

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