Reliance Big TV gets aggressive on Marathi content on PPV


MUMBAI: In a bid to tap into regional content, Reliance BIG TV has acquired the DTH rights to premiere late Marathi playwright Pu La Deshpande’s stage plays on its pay-platform.


This is a part of Reliance Big TV’s strategy to drive subscriber acquisition through a localized content strategy. Reliance Big TV’s will follow a three pronged approach for its Marathi content strategy: 1) acquire localized content by tapping Marathi theatre; 2) create a special Marathi cinema showcase on its pay platform, 3) launch specially designed Marathi packages.


One of Reliance Big TV’s key focus areas in content planning is to tap local Marathi theatre scene for its Marathi content portfolio. The agreement for the acquisition of Pu la Deshpande’s stage plays allows Reliance Big TV to showcase the theatre works of Deshpande including his super-hit stage productions Nivadak Pula Deshpande – Volume 1 to 6, Batatyachi Chal, Pula Deshpande Ratnabhandar, Hasva Fasvi, Tee Phool Rani, Kusum Manohar Lele.


These stage-plays will premiere on Reliance Big TV’s pay platform from March onwards.


The DTH right acquisition of Deshpande’s stage productions is part of Reliance Big TV’s effort to go beyond film-based content by offering a larger bandwidth of Marathi content including Marathi serials as well as Marathi live shows.


The company is also localizing its cinema offerings by tapping regional film industry. For Maharashtra, Reliance has launched a special Marathi cinema showcase on its pay platform. It has acquired the DTH rights of Marathi super-hits including Samantar, Paandhar, Housefull, Zapatlela, Aaplee Mansaa amongst others. These films will be showcased on its pay-per-view platform in February. These Marathi films will be priced at Rs 50 per 24-hour view-pass.


The DTH service provider has also launched a new Marathi package for its audience in Maharashtra. This package comprises four Marathi channels ETV Marathi, Zee Marathi, Star Pravah and Zee Talkies for a monthly subscription of Rs 5 only if selected as a first language. It has added a bouquet of Marathi channels like IBN Lokmat, Star Majha, DD Sahayadri and Mi Marathi to the base packs.


As part of its marketing initiative to promote its Marathi content, Reliance BIG TV has roped in Marathi actor Ajinkya Deo for its new TVC.


Reliance Big TV chief marketing officer Umesh Rao said, "The idea behind creating a special Marathi showcase is to give our audiences in Maharashtra a world class TV viewing experience at a value-based price proposition. Through these special Marathi offerings, our subscribers will gain benefit of a plethora of local programming while continuing to enjoy their favourite Marathi channels. On the business front, a specially designed Marathi showcase makes strategic sense enabling us to enhance our regional yields in Maharashtra across multiple revenue windows."


The company is investing nearly Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crore) in its Marathi content showcase. The investment will be directed towards acquisition of niche Marathi content, marketing activities and consumer activation schemes.


The localization move is in line with Reliance’s strategy to drive its regional penetration deeper in Tier II and Tier III geographies. The company is looking at generating over 40 per cent of its overall subscriber base from these Tier 2 and Tier 3 geographies.