Two years ago the grapevine was abuzz that Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) is set to roll out a dozen ew television channels across genres.
Those plans may still be a distance away, but RBNL’s television focus is clear — over the next five years, the company expects that television will drive 40% of its revenues.
The Anil Dhirubai Ambani-led company aims to have six channels running by the end of 2010-11. Four are already in operation — three from its partnership with the CBS and BIG Magic, a variety entertainment channel for the Hindi heartland (UP, MP and Bihar). Two more channels in partnership with the RTL Group will be launched in the current fiscal, in the reality and action entertainment genres. The Big Magic format will be taken into other belts as well including Punjabi.
“The TV business has just started and we are seeing traction for all the businesses,” said Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL. “From here on what we are doing is building separate teams. So far it has been an integrated approach and the next step is to create separate independent structure. To give a sense of breakeven, at least two years is what we are looking at.”
The expansion into more genres will take place once the current bouqet of channels stabilises, he said. “At the moment our hands are full and we plan to stick to what we have,” Katial said. “But overall the plan is to look at the need gaps that exist and build content around it. It’s not just about the launching channels — there has to be a need, and there has to be a vision for profitability.” RBNL already has licence to run 20 channels.