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Sony to launch Marathi GEC

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MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is prepping up to launch a new regional language general entertainment channel Sony Marathi. Sony’s Ajay Bhalwankar will lead the channel, according to a source at SET.

The channel is at the development stage and the company is building the team by hiring more employees for the new channel. The launch date has not been announced yet but the channel is likely to make its debut after March, said another source.

Sony is seeking to tap diverse regions of the country by expanding its offerings with a variety of content and by expanding its channel library. Sony Marathi will be the network’s second regional channel after Sony AATH, its regional channel.

SET had brought Bhalwankar on board as chief creative director in April 2014 to provide creative leadership and direction for SET and lead the programming and on-air production teams. The new channel will run under Bhalwankar guidance.

Recently, the good times have been rolling for Marathi channels as they are attracting good viewership. The Marathi GECs in the market that currently are doing well are Colors Marathi, Zee Marathi and Star Pravah. The genre has surprisingly turned out some of the most viewed channels in the television space. In week 41 in 2015, the genre had registered 242 million impressions, whereas in week 50 of 2017, the viewership was 594 million impressions, an increase of 145 per cent in the weeks compared.

Currently, Sony Pictures Networks India has SET, Sony SAB, Sony AATH, Sony TV HD, Sony SAB HD and Sony Pal in the GEC genre.

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