WorldWide Media pushes into TV content creation

MUMBAI: In August 2011, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) aka The Times of India group bought out the remaining 50 per cent of World Wide Media (WWM) from BBC Worldwide, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of arguably India?s largest media company.

WWM had started off as a joint venture between the two firms to publish speciality niche magazines. Titles such such as Femina and Filmfare and licensed titles like Lonely Planet, Top Gear, Grazia, Hello! and Good Homes came under its umbrella. Most of them these have grown courtesy a loyal reader base and are adding substantial revenues to WWM?s topline.

Deepak Lamba - who was earlier the president of Bennett Coleman - was roped in to spearhead it in January 2015 and fine tune its strategy. The idea: take it beyond traditional print publishing. And Lamba's focus has been to transform it into a complete lifestyle and entertainment outfit. A special internal projects team has been created, which works on providing holistic branding and marketing solutions to clients, including content for the TV and digital space. Amongst the brands it is looking to extend onto digital and TV include: Top Gear, Good Homes, Lonely Planet, Hello, and Femina.

?Digital is seen as the medium of the future but television is already here. Therefore, we are looking at that how our brands can be put across television platforms,? says WWM CEO Deepak Lamba. ?We have signed a deal with Maruti Suzuki for the travel show where five celebrities from different walks of life and their biggest fan will take a fanatistic journey in the auto maker?s vehicles from India to Bangkok on the Asian expressway. The seven part series is slated to launch in November. Hello has an upcoming luxury show on ET Now and Romedy Now which is slated to go live two months from now. Good Homes will talk about how you can beautify your home on a finite budget. We also want to do the GEC version of our Filmfare talk show which is in the pipeline.?

It is also expanding the Filmfare Awards franchise in August 2016 to cover north Indian cinema with the Britannia Filmfare Awards Punjab.

?It?s been 63 years now for the Filmfare Awards. The Hindi cinema awards are telecast on Sony Entertainment Television,? explains Lamba. ?The South India awards are in their sixtieth year and are telecast on Star channels; the East Indian awards on Star Jalsa, even as the Marathi awards are on Colors Marathi. We are also launching three music awards with regional GECs in the South and with local partners in Punjab.?

Short filmmakers will also be eligible to take a stab at winning the lovely black Filmfare statuette with the launch of an award for digital movies, discloses Lamba. ?The short films have to be of 15 minutes and we will have a prominent jury just like we have for our main awards and the main gratification is that winners will receive the award on the same stage.?

WWM is likely to reach out to other production houses to partner it on some of its brand extensions into video, especially those targeting broadcasters. For its digital initiatives, it has put together a full-fledged in-house team which is working closely with its editorial team to roll out its properties. On the anvil is a fun-filled 15 minute celebrity chat show with Filmfare editor in chief Jitesh Pillai as its host. The pilot is being shot with the official launch expected to happen in the next two to three months. Lamba says the move into digital has come because advertisers have been asking for it. ?There was also an internal need as being a part of BCCL, scale does matter a lot. In the magazine space we are already the number one. Also if you listen to your consumers and advertisers you will not go wrong.?

OTT and VOD players have come knocking on WWM?s doors and conversations are on with them too.

A foray into fiction is planned under the Femina brand. ?The show is about a fantastic girl who is a little plump. A Gujju girl whose boyfriend dumps her for a skinny girl,? points out Lamba. ?The show will track what she decides to do with her life and how she comes out on top of the world. ?

Will the strategy of stretching existing print titles to video work? Media observers believe it will.

?Titles such as Top Gear, Filmfare, Good Homes have a pretty loyal following both from advertisers and consumers,? says a media expert. ?The WWM team will have to do something really wrong or screw up to fail at this extension strategy. I am betting that they will do well.?

And that is something Lamba is banking on too.

Latest Reads
Sony Pictures Networks India gears up for the India tour of Australia with engaging programming initiatives

For the year ending high-octane cricket series between India and Australia, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), will be undertaking several initiatives to enhance the viewing experience and increase engagement with cricket enthusiasts across the nation.

Television TV Channels Sports
Sony Entertainment Television appoints Sagnik Mukherjee as AVP marketing

Sagnik Mukherjee is set to join Sony Entertainment Television as associate vice president marketing, a source close to the development confirmed to

Television TV Channels People
Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak quits

Colors' Big Boss has quit, according to media reports. We are talking about Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak, who is the brain behind the most popular reality show Big Boss.

Television TV Channels GECs
Monuments Turn Red, As National Geographic Raises an Alarm for Planet Conservation

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, pollution in various parts of the world is at its peak, and tonnes of plastic waste is in the oceans.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony BBC Earth hosts the extraordinary Natural History Producer and Global Storyteller, Jonny Keeling, in India

Sony BBC Earth, India’s No. 1 factual entertainment channel and home to the most iconic and premium content, continues to deliver to its promise of making the viewers ‘feel alive’.

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
‘Ab Jungle meinhoga Dangal’ with the Hindi Television Premiere of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungleon November 24th at 8pm only on &pictures

Ever wonder how it feels to be inside a game and play the character you choose? In the brand-new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
Broadcasters see regional adex space growing

Now that the Hindi fervour has died down, broadcasters and advertisers have latched on to the regional segment. It's no wonder that the adex in the space is expected to grow as well. According to the global ad growth forecast of GroupM, India’s adex is expected to grow at 14.2 per cent compared to...

Television TV Channels Regional
Bodhi Tree focusing on three verticals to scale up business

Over the top (OTT) services have given a big boost to production houses in the country  Bodhi Tree Multimedia, started by Mautik Tolia and Sukesh Motwani five years ago, only concentrated on general entertainment programs on TV initially. Following the change in the overall entertainment industry,...

Television Production House Fiction
Mumbai Team franchisee owner unable to meet financial obligations towards Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal

Mr. Pranav Rajesh Dake, owner of Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal’s Mumbai team – Mumbai Astra has regrettably been unable to meet the financial obligations towards Zee Maharashtra Kushti Dangal (ZMKD), its players and technicians.

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories