Television

'It is in the interest of the Indian content makers if Glow TV works':KAGISO MEDIA ED AND KAGISO BROADCASTING CEO OMAR ESSACK

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/11/20/glow.jpg?itok=_1ZixFxH

With six radio stations - East Coast Radio, Jarcaranda FM, Heart 104.9, iGagasi, Ofm and Kaya fm - already in its kitty, the South Africa based Kagiso Media Broadcast has ventured into television with the launch of its first free-to-air (FTA) channel, Glow TV, which calls itself ‘eastern inspired’ and has Indian content accumulated from across the globe. Glow TV, a partnership between Kagiso Broadcast and Nolava Television that mainly works as content source provider, is just about a month old and is looking at creating original content in phase two.

Kagiso Media ED and Kagiso Broadcasting CEO Omar Essack was in India recently to acquire content for Glow TV, which already boasts of shows such as season one and two of chat show Koffee with Karan and fiction show Bade Achhe Lagte Hain.

Essack, who is of Gujarati descent, believes Glow TV will appeal not just to Indians but everyone in South Africa. In a conversation with indiantelevision.com’s Vishaka Chakrapani, Essack speaks about Glow TV’s uniqueness, appeal of Indian content in South Africa, Kagiso Media’s future plans and his expectations from the TV and digital mediums after a successful run in radio.

Excerpts from the interview...

What was the purpose of your India visit?

This trip is about building relationships. All the big players in India don't know who we are and we want to let them know our ambitions. Glow TV is our first channel but the intention is to grow and have more such channels. South Africa's population is 50 million, out of which there are 1.5 million Indians, but our vision is a cross over. We are cherry-picking Indian content, packaging it and presenting what we think is a uniquely South African proposition - content where Indians make an appearance. This trip was to acquire programming and increase our rights. Helped by our JV with Microsoft; we want to do digital content for online and mobile as well.

What kind of content are you looking at from India?

As of now, we have about six hours of content repeated four times a day. We are also scouting good programming in Tamil and Telugu. The first question is whether it will work with black and white audiences; maybe a film like Cocktail would. Our target audience is females between 25 and 35 years and our primary relation for movies in India is Eros Entertainment.

What are the shows that you currently have?

We have a telenovela from Brazil called India - a love story that has Brazilian actors and is set in India, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai. Going forward, we are looking at more content from South Africans featuring India. The heart of our channel is to allow people with different cultural experiences to enjoy this eastern experience, which is accessible to them. We have spoken to Star, Zee and a production company that does unique content for YouTube as well as unique content in English that isn't available on mainstream TV in India in the English language. This will help us connect with our audiences.

What is the viewership of Glow TV and what marketing initiatives do you have in place for it?

Glow TV currently has about 5000 STBs through Open View HD that cost about $89 (each). We are looking to find opportunities on digital platforms as well. There's DSTV that is a big pay TV provider, which has FTA channels only at entry level. The reason we launched now is that in South Africa, it is Christmas, and people have got their bonuses on 13 December. We are assuming if we do a lot of marketing, people will buy more of the boxes.  About $9-10 million is going into marketing for Open View HD, and Glow TV is putting in $ 1.4 million, using its radio stations and websites to advertise. Our stations Jarcaranda and East Coast Radio have two million listeners each. Our primary audience is not Indians, which is why we are stretching the channel so hard.

Soaps such as Kya Hua Tera Vada and Bade Achhe Lagte Hain are quite popular in India

Was it easy to convince your board of directors to venture into TV?

That was our biggest challenge since we are very successful and profitable in radio, when we thought of venturing into TV, our board was nervous. Glow TV is a proof of consent. They told us to show them we could work and bring in revenue and if we could, they would give us more money for Glow and more channels. We don't have too much for movies but enough for shows but they are older ones that have been seen behind pay walls, which will now be FTA.

Did you undertake any research before you stepped into TV media?

An AC-Nielsen survey showed that when a Bollywood movie was shown on our version of Doordarshan i.e. South Africa Broadcast Corporation (SABC), a million people saw it at 2 in the afternoon, out of which 700,000 were blacks. This research convinced us that Glow could work across different ethnicities. They won’t pay to go see it at a movie theatre or for subscription but if it's free, they will watch it.

What is your budget for Glow?

We are working on a lean budget but I am glad that a lot of the content makers here like Sony, Eros, Zee, Star and BBC understand we are a start-up and that we are working on a tight budget. So it is in their interest if this channel succeeds because if we are successful, we can be a big customer tomorrow. By 30 June next year, we will know if we have touched the targets that the board set for us. If we can’t prove ourselves by then, the whole deal is off.



We are cherry-picking Indian content, packaging it and presenting what we think is a uniquely South African proposition - content where Indians make an appearance.

What kind of advertisers do you have?

We are currently looking at increasing viewership but are also offering advertisers a proposition. We are selling ad slots at low rates but we are also giving them our ecosystem to reach out to a large audience. Through radio, TV, digital and Glow TV put together, we are giving a 30 sec slot at a couple of hundred dollars. On our radio stations, the morning show slot is $2500. So, we are giving a radio station at a lower rate. We call this ‘glow watt bundles’. The only disadvantage of launching in October is that most advertisers are already committed. So whoever we spoke to, said they can only commit to us in January. First, National Bank and Nedbank are close to signing but they want exclusive deals from January. A soda company is going to sponsor Kaun Banega Crorepati.

What are your plans for pay TV?

Yes, we do not want to restrict ourselves to FTA and are looking at pay TV channels in the future. The licence we are applying for is not specifically for digital, terrestrial or satellite TV. It's called a technology-neutral licence. We can apply that licence for any technology in the future. We may say the digital, terrestrial space is too crowded, or the pay TV satellite space is too crowded. Some of the future technology we don't even know yet. A licence is not a guarantee. We then need to apply for spectrum. Any media company needs to be on both free and pay. If we prove ourselves, we can try our limits not just for channels but for future things like VOD.

What kind of local content are you looking at getting from Urban Brew Studios, your own production house?

Urban brew will get local content for our channels. We have a group in the company that harvests data and helps us know about consumer consumption patterns. One interesting finding is that we don't have a lot of sitcoms coming out of South Africa but the US has a lot that are popular here as well. Also, there isn't a soap opera channel with South Africans made in the country. So these are some ideas.

Sanjeev Kapoor's cookery skills is set to charm South African audiences

Your company has also delisted itself from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. What led to this decision?

The company has delisted, we bought out 49 per cent and have made the final payment to shareholders. The main motivation is that we want to invest in new areas and our shareholder (Kagiso Tiso holdings), which bought us out is committed to investing for expansion across Africa and they have the appetite to do that.  Most of our shareholders that owned our stock owned it because we are a productive dividend payer and so, twice a year, they would surely get dividends. Going forward, if we require investment to do the things we are looking to, we may not pay dividends on a regular basis because we are looking at investing as we expand into Africa. And that may not have suited some share holders.

What was the price paid to shareholders?

It was a premium of 30 per cent of the price that was listing at that time. There were some who resisted it but in the end, it was an attractive price.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/19/BARC.jpg?itok=6hNM0QtI
Four news genres saw no change in BARC week 2

All the four genres apart from Hindi news urban market saw no change in second week of the year. Aaj Tak continued to groove on the same tracks in the rural, urban and U+R genres as it did the previous year. India TV and News18 India interchanged their positions in the Hindi news urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/19/Kapil_Sharma_Show.jpg?itok=SXRBwXr7
Sony Entertainment Television leads urban areas in week 2 of BARC

Sony Entertainment Television jumped to second position to fifth position as compared to the previous week in the Hindi (U+R) genre in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for week 2 of 2018. Zee Anmol retained its first position in the rural market. Sony Entertainment Television and...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/aaj.jpg?itok=WTXjyKeT
Aaj Tak becomes the world’s first News Channel to be awarded YouTube’s ‘Diamond Play Button’

India’s No.1 news channel Aaj Tak creates history yet again! The prestigious ‘Diamond Play Button’ bestowed by YouTube, recognises Aaj Tak as the global no.1, the first and the only news channel in the world to have crossed the 10 Million Subscriber mark.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/news.jpg?itok=PDqQIFhw
News18 India launches campaign; asserts channel’s leadership

News18 India, Network18’s general Hindi news channel, recently launched a campaign with a humorous and quirky film to drive home its leadership position in the crucial primetime band in the highly competitive Hindi TV news segment.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/flix.jpg?itok=1RgvxTpA
Join Drac’s Pack on their cruise as &flix presents its next #FlixFirstPremiere ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’

It is seldom that you get to see the hilarious side to a monster trying to get himself a date with the help of a technological app like Siri! Have you ever seen a monster film that is full of fun, frolic, laughter, romance and adventure?

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/9xm.jpg?itok=ZerfjJqA
9XM On Stage with Salim Sulaiman

To celebrate the Republic Day week, 9XM - India’s most popular Bollywood music destination announces the launch of 9XM On Stage a splendid musical night created in honour of the Indian Armed Forces.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/pritam.jpg?itok=tVS2_5SL
Prime Focus joins hands with Pritam and Kwan to create JAM8

Integrated media services company Prime Focus Ltd has announced its collaboration with Jam8, a musical platform founded by Indian music composer/director Pritam, and KWAN, a talent management company to serve as a 360-degree creative solution provider for the M&E industry.

Television Production House Film Production
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/18/star.jpg?itok=Xao8ACOH
Star Movies Kids is the new kid on the block

A few years ago Star India decided to hive off some bits of its repertoire and focus exclusively on its main GEC Star Plus and the emerging sports scenario. Surprisingly, the channel is now taking a new turn by targeting the youngest viewers. As per industry sources, the Uday Shankar-led network is...

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/cn.jpg?itok=BRpRY0Oq
Zapak and Cartoon Network India partner to launch ‘Ben 10 - Alien Run’ mobile game

Anil D. Ambani led Reliance Entertainment’s Zapak, India’s leading Gaming Destination, in association with Cartoon Network India, rings in the New Year with an epic launch for fans and gamers alike, with Ben 10 - Alien Run Mobile Game.

Television TV Channels Kids

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories