Anil Ambani-led Reliance Broadcast Network entered the television space on Wednesday with a joint venture with US' CBS Studios to launch three English general entertainment channels (GEC) in India.
The move is likely to be a stepping-stone for the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which has been nurturing dreams to roll out multiple television channels in the country.
The 50:50 joint venture will be called the Big CBS Networks and will initially launch channels targeting the English-speaking audience. These include BIG CBS Prime, a premium English general entertainment channel, BIG CBS Spark for the youth and BIG CBS Love, an English entertainment channel for women.
"The English GEC space is still small and the market is ripe enough for a new player like us. We are looking at an upper SEC audience as a potential to build and grow the market," said Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network.
At present, there are at least three channels operating in the English GEC space. "On the face of it the market already seems crowded. But then a lot depends on how the channel position itself and the differentiation it creates with the content," said Sam Balsara, chairman and MD, Madison Communications.
The channels will be paid and the company is banking on the subscription-based growth to be available for DTH players. Besides Reliance-owned DTH company, these channels is also likely to be available for subscription for other DTH players.
The Indian TV market is valued at around R26,000 crore.