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IndiaCast/Viacom18 all set for MIPCOM 2013

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If you thought shows such as Comedy Nights with Kapil, Uttaran or even Jhalak Dikhhla Ja have takers only in India, you couldn’t be more wrong. Indeed, there is a huge demand for these programmes even in faraway markets like Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe to name a few.

Which is exactly what draws aggregators and distributors such as IndiaCast to MIPCOM, the world’s biggest market for content.

So what does IndiaCast have on offer this year at MIPCOM? “While we already have a strong syndication portfolio with our dramas. movies  and reality shows from Colors, we will also focus on content from our regional channels, news channels as well as the MTV content, "replies IndiaCast group COO Gaurav Gandhi, who will represent the company along with four others at MIPCOM.

More specifically, IndiaCast/Viacom18’s entire catalogue will be on offer. “We have more than 25 channels in our network and so, our booth will feature content from all of these channels. This will include Ballika Vadhu, Uttaran, MadhubalaJhalak Dikhhla Ja, Bigg Boss, MTV Roadies and also content from ETV and the news channels,” informs Gandhi.

And what is IndiaCast hoping to achieve at MIPCOM? Says Gandhi: “Indian dramas are finally breaking into mainstream in many markets. We hope to find more buyers who are willing to experiment and try Indian dramas for the mainstream local audiences in the respective markets and we want to target buyers who want to remake our shows  (with script and format rights) in their respective countries .  Latin America and Turkey have been the predominant forces in exporting their drama series sales worldwide. There is an opportunity for us to break into that market in a big way. Having already licensed our content to Africa and Europe (to the mainstream market), I am hoping to tap markets like Latin America this year.” 

Gandhi believes that demand for the programming that IndiaCast is hawking will also be strong in areas where Indian and south Asian diaspora are present in large numbers. This apart, there is another chunk of viewers in several countries which enjoy watching Indian programming dubbed and sub-titled in local languages. “Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa are some of these nations,” he says."We are looking at new distribution outlets and buyers from there for both our channels and programmes at MipCom this year."

Citing a couple of examples of how the event is a platform to help export content and reach out to a larger base, Gandhi says: “It was here that we sold the script of our show Uttaran, for a remake in Africa. While normally Indian channels buy formats/ scripts, we were the first ones to have sold the script to an international player. We recently sold the MTV Roadies format internationally. The discussions for this had started in MIPCOM only.”  

MIPCOM makes it easier for exhibitors to meet people from different markets and sell content. “If it wasn’t for a market like these where would one find buyers from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Tanzania?” he questions.

And considering there is a sizeable regional population around the world, the aggregator is concentrating on regional content as well. “We have sold Gujarati content to a local channel in the US and also to west African countries this year. So for our regional content, this year, we will focus on building on that and tapping new markets” says Gandhi.

The frenzied buying and selling of content apart, several affiliate meetings will keep IndiaCast executives busy at MIPCOM. “This is where we will talk about distribution of our channels; like Colors, MTV India, Rishtey which is our second GEC in the UK, ETV,  and News18 among a host of other channels,” informs Gandhi.   

IndiaCast will concentrate on all platforms like Cable, DTH, IPTV, terrestrial and all forms, both linear and non-linear (VOD, SVOD, NVOD and PPV). “We are amongst the largest suppliers from India to VOD platforms. Our content is on Netflix, Itunes, YouTube etc. We have a lot of meetings lined up for such platforms as well,” he adds.

It looks likely to be whistlestop and tiring MipCom for Gandhi and his team. And in all likelihood profitable too. 

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