TV18/Viacom18 woo consumers with 50 bouquet packs

MUMBAI: Broadcaster TV18 and its entertainment subsidiary Viacom18 have created 50 bouquet packs targeted at different geographies and demographics as part of the transition to the new tariff regime prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The new tariff order mandates that broadcasters have to declare MRP of individual channels and bouquet rates which will uniform across all addressable platforms.

The 50 bouquet packs are spread across languages, age-groups and genres. The broadcasters have created 10 packs each for the standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) channels. Further, each SD and HD bouquet pack has three versions – budget, value and family.

The base Hindi bouquet is priced at Rs 25 plus 18% GST which works out roughly to Rs 30 a month. The bouquet named ‘Colors wala pack’ includes genre leading channels such as Colors, Rishtey, Rishtey Cineplex, MTV, MTV Beats, Vh1, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Sonic, FYI TV18, History Channel, News18 India, CNBC Awaaz, News18 Assam/North East, News18 Bihar Jharkhand, News18 MP Chhattisgarh, News18 Punjab/Haryana, News18 Rajasthan, News18 UP/ Uttarakhand and News18 Urdu.

The broadcaster said that the Hindi base bouquet will fulfil the daily entertainment needs of different family members at just Rs 1 per day. The aim is to grab the customer’s attention by underlining the fact that the Colors Hindi base pack will cost as little as Rs 1 a day.

Viacom18 MD and Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats said that the Rs 1 campaign brings out the value being provided by the bouquet. He also said that the upcoming campaigns will bring out the variety in TV18/Viacom18 bouquet packs in terms of language and demographics.

The networks have also introduced 10 channel bundles, in SD and HD versions, for regional markets like Hindi, North East, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Telugu and Tamil. The TV18/Viacom18 own and operate a total of 57 channels (42 SD and 15 HD).

IndiaCast Group CEO Anuj Gandhi said, “We have created economical & competitive bouquets to bring the best value for money for an Indian household. India is a diverse market with multiple needs for entertainment in a family. Our channels have a presence across a wide range of genres such as GECs, Kids, News, and Infotainment that puts us in the best position to deliver entertainment for subscribers & earning potential for service providers.”

He also said that the TRAI should work to put the Quality of Service Regulations into effective implementation so that transparency is achieved across the value chain in benefit of all stakeholders.

Vats further stated that educating the consumer about the MRP regime will be the most fundamental challenge. He further stated that the consumer education will help consumers in making the right and a more informed choice

“Broadly, we have got 10 packs. Then those 10 packs have an SD and an HD version and then these packs have three versions of budget, value and family. We would request the consumers to look at our bouquet because that we believe is very compelling. Therefore, they may not need to pick up one channel,” he noted.

Vats said that the success of the tariff order hinges on the ability of the industry to educate the consumers. The new regime promises to be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.

According to Vats, the long-tail channels will continue to exist in the new regime as there is a demand for diverse content. In fact, the long-tail might become more important in the long run.

“In M&E, long-tail is somewhat of a given. While it is long-tail some of it is needed. As time progresses, it may become even more important. While GECs and movie channels comprise a bulk of the consumption on TV, there is a space and demand for other genres like news, kids and infotainment,” he noted.

Queried about the impact of the 15% discount cap, Vats said that there will be an impact on pricing if the Supreme Court upholds the clause. The TRAI has moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash a Madras High Court which quashed the clause.

“If the discount cap is upheld, it will affect pricing. Whether it will come down or not I don’t know but some rework on the pricing will happen because if you look at it the sum total of channels and the discount that we are offering is higher than 50%,” he stated.

“The channel pricing will need to be reworked. Will the pricing to the consumer come down? I don’t know because we have built in a lot of it in the current discounts that we are offering.”

Vats also feels that the ratio between subscription and ad revenue will get balanced out over a period of time. That said, ad revenue will remain an important revenue stream.

On the issue of a possible ratings blackout to ensure a smooth transition to the new framework, Vats said that the BARC board will have to take a call while stating that no such call has been taken so far.

“Our endeavour is to continue to report what India is watching but at the same time, it is our responsibility to report what India is watching. Anything that will be done will to ensure a speedy and smooth roll-out of the new tariff order,” he asserted.

He, however, noted that the issue of rating blackout will also depend on how long it takes to transition to the new regime.

Viacom18 and TV18 have launched a multi-media marketing campaign, titled ‘Ek Me Hai More Yahaan, that advocates the comprehensive value for money that the ‘Colors wala Pack’ provides to the Indian viewers.

The campaign highlights the clear and present concern of Indians over the rising costs of entertainment and packages top channels across genres so that the entire entertainment and news needs of an Indian family are taken care of.

It also defines the strategy of the networks wherein all the bouquets across Hindi, English and Regional entertainment and news are packaged in a manner to help the viewers keep their monthly budgets at a minimum.

The ‘Ek Mein Hai More Yahaan’ campaign will be driven by the most prominent faces seen on Indian television such as Rohit Shetty, Neha Dhupia, Malaika Arora, Mahesh Manjrekar, Arya, and a galaxy of celebrities from Viacom18’s stable, educating the audience of all the entertainment and news that they can avail at Rs 1 per day.

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