Viacom18 broadens reach with Rishtey Asia launch; rebrands channel in UK, US

MUMBAI: Viacom 18 has launched the Asian version of its Hindi variety entertainment channel Rishtey, which will be beamed across 20 countries in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.


Additionally, the network has also rebranded Rishtey in the UK and US to Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas. 


The content on the channels is specially curated with shows catering to the specific needs of the viewers in the respective regions.


IndiaCast group CEO Anuj Gandhi said, “After receiving an encouraging response from viewers in the UK and US, we are now looking at expanding our reach in the APAC, Middle East & Africa regions. Rishtey Asia is a wholesome entertainment channel, which connects everyone in the family making it a preferred entertainment destination for viewers. With the channel now being available across twenty countries, we are strengthening our ties with distribution networks to engage with a larger audience segment.”


In Australia and New Zealand, Rishtey Asia will be available on Vision Asia, Yupp TV, Lebara Media Sevices. The channel will further be available on Eitisalat, Du and Yupp TV in the Middle East, Azam TV, Space TV and Mauritius Telecom in Africa, Digital System of Nepal in Nepal, and Scan International Company in Thailand.


IndiaCast business head - Middle East & Africa Sachin Gokhale added, “We have thoroughly studied the content need gaps existing in the South Asian TV space in Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions and through Rishtey, have created a unique channel with carefully handpicked content that will fill those gaps and deliver never before seen entertainment to our viewers. The channel has carefully put together the best content across various genres ranging from drama, lifestyle and kids, to youth and blockbuster Hindi movies, giving the discerning viewer access to new and exciting content options. Our content is conducive to creative marketing campaigns, and through the insights provided by our research team, we hope to mobilize and engage audiences online and offline.”


Speaking on the re-branding of Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas, Gandhi said, “Through the rebranding exercise, we have carefully aggregated a diverse programming line-up across genres, bringing together an eclectic mix of shows not only from the Viacom18 bouquet of offerings, but also syndicated from broadcasters across the globe. We are confident that geo-targeting the content for Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas will enable us to further engage with our viewers.”


Rishtey Europe is currently available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin, Freesat and leading OTT platforms, whereas Rishtey Americas is available on Dish and Sling in USA, Flow in the Caribbean region (Trinidad & Tobago) and Bell and Rogersin Canada.


“Our business has grown more than four times in last three and half years, and 30 – 35 per cent of our revenue comes from global business,” Gandhi informed.


Colors & Rishtey CEO Raj Nayak added, “Since its inception in 2012, Rishtey, as a brand, has adapted its content, to regional viewer preferences, which has struck a favourable chord in UK, USA and Canada. We are confident that the new content line-up will appeal to our regional viewers in the respective markets and further add to the success of the channels given the widespread appeal of the channel across-age groups. We believe that the time is right for us to elevate the positioning and programming line-up of Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas.”


The content line-up on Rishtey Europe and Rishtey Americas includes young love stories Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan, Turkish drama Pabband Ishq, period drama Siyaasat and the Pakistani show Nail Polish.


The channel will also offer kids’ content Luv Kush and Krishna Balram giving regional viewers a flavour of Indian mythology. Bollywood films like Hasee Toh Phasee, I Love New Year, and Bombay Talkies amongst others will also be available for viewers.


If consumers want only regional content of a particular language, they need to subscribe to the base pack first and then choose the specific pack, a system that can certainly get disrupted by the OTT development. “OTT players will bring in huge change in the ecosystem as it gives consumer the total control of paying for particular content. Australia is an example of that where in people have shifted to OTT and IPTV. Niche channels will see a huge growth with the establishment of OTT players,” informed Gandhi.

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