Television

CHANNEL V RESTRUCTURES ITSELF; ADAPTS A DIFFERENT STRATEGY; CALLS OFF AWARDS

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Channel V has adapted a new strategy to lead the market (or is it for survival?). The earlier confused channel will now refocus itself and concentrate on more businesess including the Internet, radio and merchandising. The channel will make a foray in the radio arena through FM radio. It has not ruled out Internet radio as another platform.

The emptying coffers of the channel has forced it to restructure its activities and adapt an agressive marketing approach to lure advertisors. It has drawn a three-point revenue plan - "e-commerce, merchandising and syndication".

The channel will enter the merchandising business and is in talks with distributors for the same. It is in the process of designing ad campaigns for this business stream. The rival channel MTV has already finalised its merchandising plans.

[V] will not ignore the WWW. It's website www.vindia.com recently won the "Best Indian Website of the Year" award at the Abby 2000 awards ceremony. Abby 2000 is hosted by the Advertisers' Club of Mumbai. The youth channel will acquire portals and enter the broadband arena. It plans to an create online youth channel. It will also webcast tailor-made programmes specially for the Internet.

Channel V has decided to rectify the earlier mistake of ignoring ground-level activities. Ground-level events are a major focus. In the coming academic year, the channel will reach out the youth at college campuses in the urban and semi-urban areas all over the country. It has also lined up a series of road shows. It will concetrate on more semi-urban areas. It has already tied up with a discotheque in Kolhapur!

It plans to export television software to US and European countries where "India" is hot and Indians are in plenty. It will also focus on the neighbouring markets including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh where there are a lot of Hindi-speaking population.

The drying pockets has made the channel cancel the 1999 Channel V awards which were postponed till March 2000. The channel officials have ruled out cancelling the 2000 Channel V awards. Three veejays have been sidelined thus prompting them to leave the channel. "We want to utilise our monetory resources wisely" said a Channel V official. "We know what we are doing. We are in the right direction to lead the Indian market", he added.

The channel claims a reach to 12 million cable & satelite (C&S) homes out of the total 22 million. It is vying for more a bigger reach.

Will the channel achieve what its aiming? Will it beat all its rivals and lead the market? No one is sure about this. But the channel seems to be working really hard on this.

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