History TV18 focuses on relatable local content

MUMBAI: History TV18 has plans to woo the Indian audience with more local content. After the success of Special Operations India: Surgical Strikes, the channel launched Special Operations India: Myanmar late last month in a bid to beef up its Indian content library. A new mini series Firepower:Defending India launches next month, promos for the show are already on air.

According to History TV18 EVP and head of content Arun Thapar, the channel is not just looking at notching up the number of hours of local content but is creating content that is relatable to its audience. “[The content] is differentiated in terms of storytelling, production values and scale. We are also experimenting with durations.” 

The channel is investing in what audiences like and admire in the factual entertainment space. Thapar said that the channel wants to celebrate the good and great about India. “Our efforts have gained momentum over the last year and a half. The objective has been to offer differentiated content for the audience and increase our market share by creating and putting out shows that are best-in-class, from the perspective of storytelling, creative excellence and an immersive viewing experience. We want the audience to  relive the stories from the past that shape our present,” he added.

Although hundreds of hours of content are from overseas, by targeting existing audiences and building the brand, the network believes it can keep viewers glued to the TV sets and rule the infotainment genre. 

Special Operations India: Myanmar, which premiered on 28 March 2018, is the second instalment in the Special Operations India mini-series, the first one being the path-breaking documentary about India’s Surgical Strikes in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The story is told through the experiences of the men leading the operation and the decision makers in India’s military establishment at the time.

Thapar believes that content in this genre should not be restricted to just Indian audiences but has to be made for global citizens. Going forward, History TV18 will keep refreshing its content with foreign shows as well as locally produced and curated series.

History TV18 garnered second position in week 14 of Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) list with 3407 impressions (000s). When BARC increased its rural India measurement in 2017, the genre took a hit because urban viewership is its bastion.

Competition has been sprucing up its offering as well. Recently, Sony BBC Earth, which was launched less than a year ago, snatched away the genre’s top spot from week 11 to week 14. The channel has lined up activities to connect with school kids and new show launches are also on the anvil.

In its genre, History TV18 competes with Discovery, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, Sony BBC Earth and Nat Geo Wild. With only limited audiences to attract and plenty of players, the fight for eyeballs is likely to get intense in the genre.

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