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SAB forays into Marathi entertainment with Maiboli

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Markand Adhikari hopes to replicate the success of his music channel Mastiii

MUMBAI: Marathi speaking audiences are set to witness a laughter riot on their TV screens. Maiboli is all set to have a silent launch on 8 August. The channel, a product of the SAB group will have a program mix of comedy and music for the Marathi viewing audience. The tagline of the channel is Aapli Aaplya Mansaanchi.

"Marathi manoos has a very good sense of humour and there is a lot of talent," says SAB Group vice-chairman and MD Markand Adhikari, speaking about the unusual mix of genres.

As of now the channel will only be available on cable TV, beamed off Insat 4A, which will reach to the one million plus population towns of Maharashtra such as Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and one third of Mumbai.

The comedy will comprise gags ranging from office, contemporary, marital, governance-related that will be in the form of three to five minute skits and interspersed will be Marathi songs. Known faces from the Marathi comedy genre such as Sunil Tawde, Anshuman Vichare, Pradip Patwardhan, Santosh Pawar will be seen on screen. The plan is to first telecast the latest Marathi songs and slowly move on to classics. Interviews of known Marathi actors from film and theatre will fill some of the weekend slots apart from comedy shows.

The channel will have a program mix of comedy and music for the Marathi viewing audience

Based on an internal study that the channel had conducted, the FPC has been drawn up in such a way that programs cater to the moods of viewers, depending on the time of the day. The early morning slot has Bhakticha-Thheva with devotional songs, mid-morning has romantic songs under Priteechi Jhul Jhul Gaani; the afternoon slot is dedicated to fast-paced songs with the program Mast madmast while the channel will telecast soothing and calming music at night under Sur Tech Chhedita and Chandne Shimpit Jashi.

The channel will cater to all age groups, says Anita Varma

Although, Adhikari says his target viewer is anyone above four years, programming head Anita Varma highlights that there isn't any specific slot for children but the music will surely appeal to them. "We have humour for everyone and the channel will be liked by all," says Varma.

Initial reports were that Maiboli was to be launched last December, but Adhikari rubbishes any hints of there being any delay, saying that the group only started work on the channel six months ago.

Close to 10 hours of programming is being produced in-house at the SAB studio. Channel promotions are to begin a month after launch. Test runs are currently being conducted.

Advertisers will be approached after the channel comes on air and even the website will be functional post 8 August.

"We are trying to replicate the success of Mastiii," says Adhikari. The Hindi music channel was launched by the same group in 2010. And it has gone on to carve a smart niche for itself amongst viewers.Will Maiboli do the trick too?

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