Will Mythology 24×7 work for Epic?

16 May,2013

 

By Meghna Sharma

 

In the beginning there was Ramayana. It was the day, or rather the Sunday morning, when the world stood still as millions watched the televised dramatization of one of India’s best-known epics. Close on its heels was the sweeping soap opera of Indian mythology, the Mahabharata, and then came Bharat Ek Khoj which gave us facts laced with dramatized enactments of India’s myths and legends.

 

Those were the days of Doordarshan. With the explosion of cable and DTH, and technological strides enabling better and better CGI, viewers are now spoilt for choice in the realm of mythology. The most popular currently is the magnetic Lord Shiva on Life OK, with the delectable Parvati and cutesy Ganapati capturing hearts of all ages.

 

It is this raging popularity which has led Mahesh Samat, former Walt Disney India head, to plan an entire channel based around mythology. For someone who is has a passion for history this may seem an obvious move. “With digitization, today, people have access to various channels and hence, an availability to launch new genres. We did a lot of research and dipsticks before taking this decision. People want to have a connection with history,” says Mr Samat when asked about his decision to launch India’s first genre-specific Hindi entertainment channel – Epic.

 

“Epic stands for story-telling. Here we are not just going to rehash history but create new characters from our history,” he adds.

 

But is there really enough TG of this genre to launch a channel? “I think for such a genre, the TG is universal. Anyone who is in the mood to watch the genre will switch to our channel. Of course, we know that people won’t be watching the channel all the time. We would be an important part of people’s choice wherein they choose to watch us when they feel a need to watch something mythological or from our past,” believes Mr Samat.

 

Pratap Bose

According to Pratap Bose, COO, DDB Mudra group, for any genre, be it action or mythological, content is important for a channel to be a hit or a miss. “If the content is 10/10, nothing else matters. People should like what you give them and they will come to you if it appeals to them.” However, he does believe that apart from great content it is important that one effectively distributes and promotes the channel so that more and more people know about it.

 

The channel launch is being planned for August, provided all regulations are cleared. And a 360-degree marketing mix has been planned for it. Aparna Pandey, who will be looking after content and packaging, will also be in charge of the channel’s marketing. Ravina Raj Kohli is the development head. The team is already in talks with various producers, though a lot of development work will be done in-house.

 

Very few know that Mr Samat is a comic book writer and has authored a comic called The Adventures Of Vanayu – The Spirits Of Ixora. Will he be lending his talent to the channel, too? “I would leave that to my very talented and professional team. However, I wouldn’t deny I have a very good sense for such content.”

 

With various networks launching regional channels or dubbed feeds, the Epic Television Networks Pvt Ltd knows the importance of regional space. However, they want to take things slowly. “We would like to build the brand in Hindi first and then go ahead… step by step,” says Mr Samat.

 

And what about syndication? With Indians spread across the globe and an interest in Indian history at an international level, one cannot rule it out. “Syndication is a very good revenue option as well. But we will only think about it after we get it right here,” reaffirms Mr Samat.

 

Post a Comment 

3 responses to “Will Mythology 24×7 work for Epic?”

  1. Can i know that ,do epic is going to launch their cg department also for their shows?

  2. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Best wishes to Mr Samat and his team. I’ll look forward to the EPIC launch :-).

    Meghna, the readers of MxM may also be interested to know the URL of the site, how the buzz is being created for the August launch, distribution plans, plans for the digital medium (Social Media, Mobile, Apps, Games, etc), Programming Mix,..there a whole host of questions…

  3. Amar says:

    Super Idea. Start with the incomplete Chanakya serial which abruptly taken off the air by NDTV imagine.

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