?We?ll project new-look India?
When Discovery Channel was first aired in India, one would rarely have heard of ?alternate television?. But the channel is now giving movie channels.
The very fact that we have been growing in a static market and have survived in a marketplace where 65 channels were added last year has given us the confidence that Indian viewership is ready for alternate television. India has the largest share of young, aspiring population which is either educated or getting educated. Viewers have vetted that they love to have facts and that is what we are providing.
Has it required some amount of fine-tuning along the way?
Certainly. We have consciously moved away from the image of just being a nature and wildlife channel with the ratio of such content falling from about 60 per cent to 20 per cent over a period of time. We introduced programming related to travel, lifestyle, women, along with the India-specific content and graduated to being not just children or youth- centric but an adult interest channel. That helped us to bring a variety of consumers into our fold.
Has it given the channel the confidence to move to the next level?Definitely, one would see a great push being rolled out for both Discovery and Travel & Living this year. Animal Planet, that has been gathering steam on its own, will get a further push next year. The viewers will get greater value as we have moved to a separate feed for Animal Planet from the joint feed that we had for Asia under the earlier arrangement.
What will be the highlights of the year to come as you roll out the tenth year celebrations?
We have gathered enough momentum to be able to start producing content here. We will start content creation by the end of this quarter with the only caveat being that it should be globally relevant. It has to travel around the world. In fact, we have already started two productions in the lifestyle space for the Travel & Living channel.
Have you identified the areas for content creation?
We will move a notch away from just presenting India as a land of mystics. We will look at projecting the country’s achievements in areas that are crying for attention — service industry, medical tourism, technological marvels — basically the new-look India.