Television

White Horse’s soft launch of Kannada GEC Kalki Kannada

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BENGALURU: White Horse Network Services Private Limited (WHN) recently had a soft launch of its Kannada general entertainment channel (GEC) Kalki Kannada on Vijaydashmi day, October 22, 2015. The channel went on air officially on Karnataka Rajo utsav day, November 1.  The channel promises its audience 60 hours of complete entertainment by way of all original programmes in HD quality to grip viewers across all age groups.

The channel says that its USP is that it offers completely original shows with no remakes from any other shows of any language. It claims that it offers an interesting mix of shows across various genres while catering to its diversified audience, and it promises to soon launch a show completely dedicated to women. WHN CEO P Kailasam says, “We have a separate team dedicated towards understanding and working based on the tastes and demands of Kannada viewers across different age groups as we at Kalki Kannada strive to offer content with a unique approach while maintaining the true Kannada culture at large”.

Distribution

Distribution has not been a major challenge for WHN, given the fact that Kailasam is an industry veteran from that branch of the industry. He was once director at Zee Turner and then acted on a consultancy basis for the MSO Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT). The channel has placed 350 boxes around Karnataka, a number that is probably more than even what Zee Kannada has placed in the state says Kailasam.  It is already on Airtel’s DTH platform and Kailasam says that talks are at an advanced stage with the other DTH players in the country.

Advertisement revenue

As far as advertisement revenue is concerned, the channel is awaiting rating numbers for at least a month’s period, before it starts quoting rates to media buyers. At present it has local retail ads and ads through business obtained from a few small deals done directly. “We will wait for the next month before we start offering rates to anyone. Our experience in the business tells us that if we set the initial rates very low, there will be no turning back, and we will be stuck in that rut forever. We have had inquiries from a couple of media buying agencies who wanted to block some of our inventory for six months and more in bulk. We have requested them to wait until December,” revealed Kailasam.

From that context, the commencement of the announcing of rural numbers monitored by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) will be a shot in the arm of sorts for WHN feels Kailasam.

Marketing

The channel’s launch has been a low-key affair, with  the nucleus of the marketing team already in place. It has placed half page ads in major Kannada language papers and has had itself written about locally.

Content

WHN says that it has a well-equipped state-of-the-art studio and latest editing technology and equipment, and is packed to offer complete production packages with HD quality content. Kailasam claims that after extensive research on viewership habits, Kalki Kannada has launched shows across various genres including a complete morning band on devotional shows, afternoon band on cookery shows, evening band on drama and reality shows as weekend specials.

To name some of the non-fiction shows, ‘Abhishekam’, is an early morning devotional show that offers a visual tour of some of the exquisite temples of Karnataka  along with ‘day specific’ devotional songs and abhishekam based on particular God of the day. ‘Vishwaroopa’, is a devotional show on which philosopher and astrologer Savithru Sharma interacts with the viewers and covers every aspect of faith, coupled with solutions for personal problems, daily predictions and a guide to daily ritualistic practices.

Paddu’s Kitchen’, is an exclusively vegetarian cookery show on which Padmaja, a popular onscreen mom, presents simple home cooking with celeb chefs and signs off with her simple recipes. Simple breakfast, main course and dessert items are taught by yet another television celebrity, Srinivas Prabhu who joins hands with Paddu.

Pani Puri with Murali’, is a fun filled live chat show hosted by popular television anchor Murali, where he chats with celebrities and achievers over paanipuri. Viewers can also interact with guests and anchors over the phone in this live show. ‘Kalki Express’, a reality game show hosted by a popular comedian, M S Jahangir, travels across thirty districts of Karnataka reaching out to the viewers to try their Luck. Simple games played by the participating families can make them win money.

In the fiction genre the channel has stated off with family dramas. ‘Puttamalli’ is the story of a young village girl who, in a turn of fate, marries a man much older than herself and is settled in a big city. The drama revolves around how the entire family of the boy helps to transform the girl to adjust to her new life. ‘Sevanthi Sevathi’, is a half-sisters’ drama with a repenting father and his two wives: the  rich and arrogant second wife and poor struggling first wife. The sisters’ paths cross on various occasions while they are completely unaware of their relationship with each other. The plot revolves around how the two sisters resolve all their family issues.

Anubandha’ is a story based on love, friendship, relationships and of unspoken feelings hidden by a mask. The story revolves around a mother and daughter who love each other a lot. In a turn of fate the mother loses her daughter but soon finds another girl almost like her daughter to whom she gives her daughter’s face so that the whole world thinks that her real daughter is alive.

Besides family dramas, the channel will soon launch a socio-mythology serial ‘Amnoru’, that it says is an intense drama between good and evil. The show, while using elements of devotion, faith, black magic and mythology, is about a devout girl who has special powers and her immense faith in God  that saves her husband’s life.

Until May 2015, WHN managed operations at the Kannada GEC Kasthuri. Industry sources say that WHN had turned the channel around and helped multiply revenues many times over, before handing back the reins to the promoters of the channel.

 
 

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