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Reliance Broadcast’s TV channels to turn pay; Big Magic Ganga applies for name change

MUMBAI: Reliance Broadcast Network
Ltd (RBNL) is planning to turn both
Big Magic and Big Magic Ganga into pay
channels. The company has not
renewed its contract with Freedish as
a first step to adopting the
subscription-led model.
Additionally, RBNL has applied for a
name change with the Ministry of
Information & Broadcasting (MIB) as
it plans to drop the word ‘Magic’ from
its Bhojpuri channel Big Magic Ganga.
In a bid to consolidate the network
and drive synergies between its
platforms, RBNL is revamping its ‘Big’
brand of TV channels and radio station
Big FM. The company has also changed
the logo of its radio network Big FM,
which bears the same look and colours
as the new Big Magic logo.
Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, RBNL
COO Ashwin Padmanabhan said, “We
changed the logo of Big FM because we
wanted to keep the look of our ‘Big’
brands similar so that the look is
constant across our products. We
wanted to keep it more vibrant and
youthful. We wanted to keep the
family together as there are a lot of
synergies we can drive in between the
Padamabhan added that in line with its
core repositioning and look and feel of
the TV channels, the company has also
worked on building the distribution in
the top 12–15 cities. It is now
looking at driving subscription
opportunities for Big Magic and Big
Magic Ganga.
When asked about the timeframe for
going pay, he stated that it could
take around eight weeks as they are
presently working on the details of
the same.
Driving synergies through content
The company will now bring in content
that cuts across its TV and radio
platforms and has presence on digital.
An array of new shows has been
launched recently on Big Magic and Big
Magic Ganga. Another new show
launching in Big Magic is ‘Boyz’, which
will air at 10 pm and present a
youthful comedy.
Besides shows, Big Magic is building on
its humour-based short-format
content. It already airs ‘Chutki and
Shopkeeper’ featuring actor Gaurav
Gera, which again cuts across RBNL’s
brands as it airs on Big FM as well.
“Humour-based short-format content
is big for us and we will be launching
more such series within the next few
weeks,” Padamabhan revealed.
The channel recently launched a new
animated comedy short called ‘Mania
Ki Duniya’. The series earlier aired on
YouTube on the ‘Mania Ki Duniya’
channel. They have also commissioned
the creator of the show Manish to
produce fresh episodes of the series
for television.
Besides, Big FM’s popular humour
segment ‘Actor Calling Actor’
mimicking Javed Akhtar and Farhan
Akhtar has been converted into a
puppet-based animated series for Big
“These series come in as capsules at
specific time slots during the day and
are aired multiple times a day. Short-
format humour is the way ahead and
we will keep experimenting in the
area,” Pamanbhan said.
In the next two weeks, Big Magic will
launch a new show presenting the
lives of a bunch of neighbours who are
also friends. Featuring an old couple,
a young married couple, and a
bachelor, the show will present the
humorous sides of their lives.
By mid-September, RBNL will launch a
late-night talk show, details of which
will be revealed later. In the next 3–
4 weeks, the channel will launch 2–3
short-format shows.
At the end of September, the channel
will bring another big format in the
form of a game show titled ‘Family
Fortunes’. RBNL has licensed the
format from FremantleMedia and will
be producing the show themselves.
Meanwhile, Big Magic Ganga is
presently airing a Sharavan special,
which will culminate with an on-
ground event in Patna. Aiming to build
it into a strong regional brand, the
channel will soon launch the new
season of ‘Big Memsaab’, which will be
followed by more shows in the reality
space like ‘Rasoi Ki Rani’ and ‘Chipak
Ke Jeeto’.
On the other hand, unique initiatives
will continue to drive Big FM. The
radio network recently entered the
Limca Book of World Records for its
‘Paani Bachao’ initiative.
“With Big FM, we are well placed and
have fine-tuned our strategy. As the
new stations will come up following
the auctions, we have formulated a
clear strategy with respect to how
they will be placed,” he said.
The new radio stations of the network
will have different positioning and the
team is presently evaluating 3–4
models and will apply what works best
as per local relevance.

Reliance Broadcast’s TV channels to turn pay; Big Magic Ganga applies for name change

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