Dishum TV's quest to succeed in the Bhojpuri market

Dishum TV's quest to succeed in the Bhojpuri market

MUMBAI: Week 24 of BARC's data for the Bhojpuri market was out on Thursday. Like most weeks, this time too there were no revelations. For the longest time, this space has been captured by two players - Big Ganga and Bhojpuri Cinema - and there's no evidence to suggest a potential disruption in the market any time soon. A two-horse race makes for compelling viewing for those on the sidelines. But for the remaining horses, that scenario could be intimidating and involve quite a bit of toil. But true competitors don't give up. They continue fighting even when the odds are up against them. That's exactly the situation Dishum TV finds itself in. The channel is taking baby steps as it tries to play catch up with the runaway leaders in the market.

The Bhojpuri general entertainment channel (GEC) recently expanded its distribution in the region. Owned and operated by Dishum Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd, it launched on DEN and ‘GTPL’ in Bihar and Jharkhand, and Manthan and Siti Digital in Jharkhand.

Beamed off in Insat 4A satellite, over 85 million TV households will now have access to Dishum across all MSOs & DTH platforms. Dishum is making inroads by closely monitoring what is being consumed in the television market. “Our reach is about 85 million homes- 40 million homes through Airtel and Tata Sky. We are expanding the markets by adding UP, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. Though it is not a rating market but we are trying to make the channel available to as many homes as possible” says Dishum Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd, distribution head, Arup Gopikrishnan.

“We have long term deals with the DTH platforms because in Bhojpuri we don’t have very big offerings in terms of the competitors. As a regional pack offering, for them also it adds value because they have a vast diaspora which consumes this kind of content” he adds.  

The company's COO, Partha Dey says “Shraavan month is coming, which is a religious month for the people of UP and Bihar. So, one month of religious programming will be done by all the broadcasters. On this occasion, Dishum would be doing one month of spike content which would at least have four to five originals per day in association with Travel On and New Vehicles".

“We try to come up with something that the HSM has not done. Earlier, in one of our music shows, we’d focused on folk music. Its something wasn’t yet explored in the Hindi market. If you are doing a big musical show, it probably won’t work. But if you do a rooted show, it works," Partha says.

Religious shows during mornings are the highest rated programs in Bihar and Jharkhand. The market value of the region is about Rs. 120-140 crore, whereas the overall advertising rates of the Bhojpuri market are around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 per 10 seconds for prime time shows.

According to Partha, 70 per cent ratings of the Bhojpuri region come from DD Free Dish, an Indian free-to-air digital direct-broadcast satellite television service. Since Big Ganga is available on DD Free Dish it helps the channel to increase its reach.

Dishum too intends to strengthen its reach. It has 95 per cent of OTS (Opportunity to See) in Bihar and Jharkhand. In the DTH space, Dishum is already available on Airtel and Tata Sky and would be going ahead with Dish Tv, Videocon ltd and Free Dish.

“The Bhojpuri industry has doubled in revenue over the last 3 years. But like Gujarat & Punjab regional markets, regional fiction is yet to see success. Movies, music and some religious content like mythological shows seem to be the winners. We have to wait & watch regarding Dishum TV’s growth in particular” says Madison Media Sigma chief executing officer Vanita Keswani.

Fictional shows have no takers in the Bhojpuri market. All such content on Big Ganga is dubbed. The audience in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand is more inclined to watch music shows and movies as opposed to fictional shows. Big Ganga's most popular offering is ‘Chhapra Express’, a show with film music. Multiple producers are crafting shows for Dishum. Worldwide Records, Yashi Films, Wave Music are the prominent production houses that create a majority of their shows. They also engage many local producers for shows in some urban cities like Patna and Ranchi.

Dishum’s advertisers belong primarily to the FMCG segment: Coca-Cola, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Procter and Gamble, Colgate, Emami, Godrej, Vines India, Honda, Johnson and Johnson, Mahindra and Mahindra, Mondelez, Parle Agro, Pidilite, The Himalaya Drug company, Vadilal Vodafone, Apollo Tyres and Bharti Airtel.

When asked about their marketing strategy, Partha said, “For consumers we have lot of campaigns. We also do across channels advertisements. We are doing digital promotions as well- the biggest platform in Bhojpuri are Wave Music and World Wide Music and we are doing promotions on both the platforms. Apart from these there are multiple hoardings that we will be taking up across various regions- starting from Delhi to Kolkata, UP and Bihar. We are also doing print promotions but our focus is on digital”.

Bhojpuri being a very small region contributes only three to four percent to Indian TV.  “If you compare Bhojpuri to Kannada and Tamil regions, it’s not even 10 per cent of that size. The large amount comes from the HSM and then from the southern regions - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.” says Arup.

To mark its first anniversary on 15 August, 2018, Dishum will telecast the second season of Dishum IBFA (International Bhojpuri Film Awards), which will be held in Malaysia and will be hosted by actor and comedian Krushna Abhishek. Last year, the IBFA was hosted in London by actor Karan Tacker, and was telecast in September.

The channel is planning to launch Suron Ka Mahasangam, a new singing talent show, in October. It is also coming up with another musical show called Dubola Dangal for their rural audience which will be telecasted at 11pm.

A culinary show too is in the pipeline. Named ‘Satvik Rasoi’, the food and cooking show from ISKON will include special episodes to celebrate festivals like Shivratri and Chhath Puja, besides showcasing recipes on a regular basis.

Dishum also has big plans to explore opportunities in the digital space. Partha feels that this would be an intelligent step for the channel.

“We are planning to open up certain platforms of our own. We would have our own catalogue which we will launch in the month of October named ‘Dishum Music’. We already have a lot of digital content with us that will be revealed with its launch," he says.

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