MUMBAI: It was in October last year that Zee Media Corporation got the board approval to acquire up to 100 per cent stake in the regional infotainment channel – Maurya TV. Now, with the onset of the New Year, there are few new beginnings – Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) has rebranded Maurya TV as Zee Purvaiya and launched it on 16 January in Bihar and Jharkhand.
As of now, ZMCL has only snared a 37.87 per cent stake in Maurya TV but plans are to hoick that to 100 per cent in a phased manner. Zee Purvaiya operates on the terrestrial entertainment network (TEN) format that the network launched with Zee Marudhara (formerly called Zee Rajasthan Plus) with a balanced telecast of news and infotainment programmes. The big focus being on regional news, viewers will get to watch full-fledged bulletins during morning and evening primetime with a short news capsule being aired every hour. The other programmes include: current affairs, fiction, non-fiction and factual.
“It will be of relevance to every viewer. The content will be focused towards Bihar and Jharkhand, capturing the culture, language, rituals of the states as well as showcasing the differences in the two states in certain sections,” says ZMCL CEO Alok Agrawal.
Following the footsteps of its parent company that recently came up with a campaign to woo youngsters, even Zee Purvaiya is planning to cater largely to a young audience. Even its channel branding - a bright yellowish-golden logo with the tagline ‘nayi soch nayi umang’ is in keeping with that target audience's taste.
Led by EVP & business head Amitava Bhattacharya, the channel has a team of 90 professionals, some of whom have been retained from Maurya TV. While Shiv Pujan Jha is the resident editor, Indu Singh is the programming editor, Rakesh Tiwary the marketing head and Harsh Vardhan Dwivedi the sales head.
The main office of the channel is located in Patna, with three bureaus being located in Ranchi and Dhanbad in Jharkhand and Saharsa in Bihar .
While the management was unwilling to disclose the names of the advertisers on board, apparently discussions are on with about 35 corporate, government and local advertisers. Channel sources say that they are targeting to generate revenues of almost Rs 20 crore per annum.
The promotional campaign that began on 20 January across mediums such as – radio, print and outdoor – has been planned to run throughout February by Kolkata based Genesis Advertising with a spend of approximately Rs 2 crore being pumped in.
A canter activity was undertaken in Patna and Ranchi to let audiences know about the channel. Moreover, 50 spots have been taken in the two states for outdoor promotions. For print advertisements, space has been bought in leading papers like Times of India (Bihar – Jharkhand), Hindustan and Prabhat Khabar.
“It’s a channel that’s like a buffet. It will be a one stop place for entertainment, news and factual information as well. Apart from this we are also launching reality shows. We are already reaching about 70 per cent in terms of C&S penetration,” says Bhattacharya.
The idea is to be keep it free-to-air (FTA) for six months, post which it will become a pay channel at approximately Rs 10 per month. As of now, Zee Purvaiya is only available on cable TV. However, discussions with DTH players are in progress. But because of the huge presence of cable TV in the two states, executives are confident that it will reach about 85 per cent of the population. It is being beamed off Insat 4a at 83 degrees east.
Zee Purvaiya is set to expand ZMCL’s presence in the ubercompetitive regional space. In fact, the network is looking to capture other regions as well. It will soon be launching Zee Kalinga in Odisha, following the winding up of the now defunct Zee Gantalu.