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Viacom18 uses Celebrity Cricket League to give leg up to Rishtey

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MUMBAI: It’s already made its debut on Indian screens just 10 day befor X’mas this year through Prasar Bharati’s DTH platform FreeDish. Since then, the IndiaCast team – lead by its CEO Anuj Gandhi – has been signing carriage deals for Viacom18’s second GEC Rishtey with various cable and DTH platforms.

Now the Viacom18 group is giving Rishtey a gentle nudge by using the platform of the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), which commences on 25 January 2013. The CCL -  which has teams featuring and owned by film and other celebrities vying for the title - will have all its matches being telecast on the new GEC, with four of them being simulcast on the older channel from the network, Colors.

Colors and Rishtey sources say that the hope is that Indian viewers will get to snack content on the new channel, in the process increasing its awareness. Most of the networks - including Zee, Star and Sony – have second flanking GECs, which has allowed them to soak up advertising that could not be accommodated on the mother channel because of air time constraints. Viacom18 has plugged this lacunae in its portfolio by bringing Rishtey – which was earlier tested in international markets amongst south Asian viewers -  into Indian homes.

TAM ratings for the first two weeks of 2014 saw the newbie garner an average viewership of 46.5 million.

Last week on Thursday, the front page of all leading national dailies ran full page ads, while promos are running across 40 channels announcing Rishtey’s first tent pole event. It is interesting to note that the logo of Rishtey is much bigger than Colors, therefore catching the eye first. Viacom18 has already been promoting Rishtey on CCL’s social media presence for the past fortnight.

The broadcast partners for the event also include: Asianet, Suvarna, Star Vijay, Zee Talkies, Big Magic and Zee Bangla Cinema.

As of now, the channel has already snared several DTH carriers such as Airtel DTH, Videocon d2h, Dish TV and Free Dish and cable TV platforms such as Den (pan India), GTPL (Gujarat, Maharashtra & Jharkhand), Fastway (Punjab), Digicable (pan India), WWIL & KCBPL (Kolkata), Manthan (Kolkata & Jharkhand), Darsha (Bihar), UCN, ICC and Next Gen (Maharashtra), Hathway (Maharashtra, MP, Punjab and Rajasthan), You Scod18  and Seven Star. 

Will the CCL help Rishtey forge new relationships?

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