Essel Group launches PlayTV; marketing blitz to follow

MUMBAI: Essel Group's 24-hour interactive and gaming channel PlayTV, managed by Dakshin Media Solutions, is now on air. The channel, which was soft-launched on 1 April, has become a fully functioning channel since 18 April.

Channel concept: Your phone is the new remote

Along with music programmes, PlayTV provides gaming news, contests, bidding and shopping. The channel runs on real time basis through SMS, emails and chats.

Essel Group is scheduled to formally announce the channel's launch in two weeks time. The group's director Amit Goenka, who is heading PlayTV, has told that the announcement would be followed by elaborate promotional and distribution campaigns.

"We chose this strategy because we wanted to know if any last minute changes were required prior to the announcement. And also, we felt this would help us to drive our distribution plans," explains Goenka.

PlayTV has simultaneously launched on cable and Essel Group's DTH offering Dish TV. In Dish TV, the channel is part of the Welcome bouquet which is priced at Rs 156 per month.

Goenka says the free-to-air channel is available across the country on Siti Cable. Efforts to get the channel in other networks are currently on, he adds.

"In Mumbai, more or less all the cable operators are carrying the channel now. Presently, we are focusing on the national distribution front, trying to get the channel onto other networks as well," says Goenka.

Essel has launched PlayTV with an eye to cashing in on India's growing gaming industry. Globally, gaming as an industry is a $30 billion business. At the time of the launch announcement recently, Goenka had said that in Asia, PlayTV is a new concept, while globally gaming, with a dash of entertainment and lifestyle, is a huge market.

PlayTV is supported by state of the art technology from Cellcast, a UK based company, which will help to set up TV SMS technology and also undertake training and developing of manpower in India.

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