Television

A sigh of relief for Epic

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MUMBAI: The channel which plans to create a history finally breathed a sigh of relief when after almost a year’s wait has got a licence approval from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

Mid-last year, Mahesh Samat, a former Disney MD, had announced his plan of his own venture Epic TV channel. Mahindra & Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra had come on board as a major investor. And then, soon came the news that billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani too had joined the venture as the second investor venture capitalist to fund Samat’s Epic Television Networks.

The channel offering segmented content to viewers specifically related to history, folklore and mythology was supposed to debut by August 2013.

Samat had brought in former YRF TV head Ravina Kohli as programming head, apart from business head Aparna Pandey who was earlier associated with Big CBS channels as business head. "Our shows will be different from what India has been watching," Samat had quoted then.

Amongst the shows being developed is one based on a novel by Indu Sundaresan called The Twentieth Wife which tracks a young widow named Mehrunissa, daughter of Persian refugees and wife of an Afghan commander, who goes on to become the empress of the Mughal Empire under the name of Nur Jahan by getting married to emperor Jehangir.

However, things didn’t progress as planned. The tedious and long procedure to get approvals from the MIB delayed its launch.

“Yes, it comes as a big relief that finally we have got the licence from the MIB. However, we still have to get a nod from Wireless Planning & Coordination wing of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. So keeping the fingers crossed,” says Samat.

The channel hopes to get the nod soon and hopes to launch by end of the year.

There will be a few more announcements as well because the channel will make changes to the agencies representing it. Earlier, IContract, a part of Contract Advertising and the WPP Group, was appointed to manage the creative and brand building duties for the channel; while Madison Media was assigned the media buying and planning mandate. Similarly, MSLGroup, a specialty communications and engagement network, has been handling the channel’s Public Relations, while Jack in the Box Worldwide, the content-for-brands arm of Bang Bang Films, had been selected to manage all digital communication for EPIC.

“MSLGroup no longer represents us and there might be a few more changes,” says Samat without revealing much.

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