Dishum plans to break even in 3 yrs & a network soon, says Vishal Gurnani

MUMBAI: Vishal Gurnani-owned Dishum Broadcasting has announced the launch of its first Bhojpuri general entertainment channel Dishum. The channel will go live on 15 August.

?To cater to 220 million population in India which understands and speaks Bhojpuri, there is only one GEC channel, that is Big Ganga. Other channels are not considered as GEC channels as they mostly air movies," Gurnani said.

"There is a clear need gap for great content to be delivered to this large audience base. Hence, there was an opportunity to have a GEC channel in that market,? said Dishum Broadcasting director Vishal Gurnani.

Dishum will be a free-to-air channel. ?We don?t believe that audience should pay for content," said Gurnani.

The channel will have a mix of fiction and non- fiction content which will have programmes across genres such as mythology, horror, drama, kids shows, etc. catering to all members of a family.  ?We plan to have a 150 hours per month of original content. Focused primarily on reality and non-fiction shows, we will also telecast blockbuster Bhojpuri movies seven days a week,? informed Gurnani.

The channel has acquired exclusive telecast rights of the Yashi Films property IBFA which is scheduled to take place in London on 30 July, 2017. The channel is also working with Keylight Production for shows although it is also looking to produce shows in-house.

Although the channel?s prime time will be 6pm - 10pm, it will also be airing shows in the morning time band of 6.30am- 10am -- which will include mythological shows.

The channel will be available across platforms including DTH and major MSOs. "We will be targeting 65 million households from the first day," Gurnani said.

About the response from advertisers, he said, without disclosing names, ?The response has been great.  All the major and marquee FMCG, healthcare brands, telecom and pan masala brands are keen to associate with us.?

Industry estimates that Dishum Broadcasting would be investing around Rs 100 crore over the next two years towards programming and distribution costs. A 10-sec ad rate slot for prime time is be put at Rs 600-1000.

?Generally, every channel takes three years to break even, and we too are looking at a similar plan. At present, our focus will be on the Bhojpuri channel, but, going forward, we are planning to have a network of channels across genres,? asserted Gurnani.

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