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Romedy Now plans to reintroduce HD feed soon

MUMBAI: Times Network’s Romedy
Now, which has completed two years,
is planning to reintroduce the high-
definition feed for the channel soon.
Times Network senior VP, head English
entertainment channel cluster Vivek
Srivastava said that the feed had been
closed because it was not feasible.
Now, however, distribution platforms
are asking for the hybrid channel.
Romedy Now commands 58 per cent
market share and has 18 of the top 25
shows in the English GEC category.
“It is the hard work that is paying
off. Comparatively a very young
brand, Romedy Now has outdone many
of the older channels in the English
GEC category. The channel today
commands a 58 per cent share in the
English category, which is more than
the others put together. 18 of the
top 25 shows in the English GEC
category are on Romedy Now,” said
Srivastava said that in the second
year the channel managed to double ad
revenue. “Romedy Now has strong
emotional appeal. We don’t try to
hard sell the channel.” Categories
that are present on the channel
include auto, jewellery and FMCG. He
noted that effective rates have risen
by 50–60 per cent.
How it all began
Srivastava’s predecessor Ajay
Trigunayat, who conceptualised the
channel, noted that the brand has
carved a space for itself. “It was a
bold consumer segmentation move that
is based on the human values of love,
laughter and life. Rather than have a
brand based on a product or series or
movies, we went this route. The
channel is about love and laughter and
life. It is encapsulated in the tagline
‘Love Laugh Live.”
Trigunayat noted that the opportunity
he saw was very simple. “The fact is
that channels tend to play a lot of
action, adventure thriller and horror
because that is where the bulk of
viewership comes from. But there is a
huge segment of people who want to
watch romance and comedy. They want
to watch movies that go with life and
“However, they do not find those
movies as over 90 per cent of content
being played is thriller, horror and
adventure. Romance and comedy
needed a separate destination
altogether. Therefore, we provided
this. People who are not driven by
action and adventure can come here. A
significant number of people consume
romance and comedy.”
Trigunayat noted that these people
will not consume romance and comedy
on a channel that is a mix of all
genres. “That is where we said that
there is a unique opportunity to
create a new destination. I feel that
the brand has growing from strength
to strength.”
From conceptualisation to launch,
there was a gap of more than a year.
There were challenges in the early
days. “We faced challenges in terms of
distribution. That has got sorted
out.” He also noted that convincing
people including the advertising
fraternity of such a proposition was a
challenge in the early days. “People
believe in demographic segmentation.
In broadcasting, people do not do
consumer segmentation. People tend
to be risk averse. What we did worked
well for the brand in terms of
consumer response. Advertisers get
the unique audience.”
Trigunayat added that it took over six
months after launch to convince
Creating better balance between
movies and TV shows
When Srivastava took over, one of the
things he did was have a better
balance between movies and TV shows.
Earlier, the focus was more on
movies. But under Srivastava’s
leadership, a band for television
shows from 7–9 pm was created. Then
‘Ellen’ was added, and the TV show
block now is 6–9 pm. Movies air at 9
pm and at 11 pm. The aim was not to
be defensive in terms of putting
English entertainment in primetime.
The aim was to create a habit to get
viewers hooked.
Srivastava noted that viewing habits
can be loyal to daypart or a
programme. For English
entertainment, the daypart habit
needs to be intact. Therefore, there
was a strong focus on the 7–9 pm
band for English entertainment, which
subsequently got extended.
A major reason for focusing on
television shows more is that romance
and comedy movies can be repeated
less frequently compared to films in
the action, adventure and thriller
“In a romcom, you need to feel for a
character. However, after a film
three times a viewer’s feelings tend
to change. That is why the rest period
for a romance or a comedy film is
longer. We have to acquire more
titles. We got the DNA of the channel
right.” He also opined that the era of
bundling of English entertainment has
gone. The era of segmenting is the
one that is currently present.
He noted that the channel’s
viewership is split evenly between men
and women. “The channel mood is
happy. We are the only brand with an
emotional connect. We air shows,
movies that give you a feel-good
factor. Even if you take away movies,
we still have leadership in the
category. We have a romance basket
and a comedy basket. We expand the
peripheries. The content has to feel
Localised content on the anvil
Srivastava is also considering
localisation. “We might do some local
shows but it is too early to say what
we will do. It will have to compete
with international shows that air on
the channel.” In terms of viewership
trends, he noted that the smaller
towns are coming up and are
contributing to viewership.
On air, a thank-you campaign is going
on. ‘A Happy Together’ campaign is
running. The aim is to thank viewers
for showing loyalty.

Romedy Now plans to reintroduce HD feed soon

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