Your daily dose of entertainment may get a boost with a new channel offering. Shemaroo Entertainment on April 29 the launch of its general entertainment channel- Shemaroo TV - which will go on air from May 1 onwards.
A free to air Hindi GEC (General Entertainment Channel), the new channel will beam shows from Shemaroo's existing library as well as licensed content, including Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev, Dil Se Di Dua Saubhagyawati Bhava, Great Indian Laughter Challenge, among others.
As for exclusive content, once the restrictions on shoots are lifted, the channel will teleacst original shows.
While TV viewership is seeing significant growth including Hindi GEC category, is launching a new channel in this category viable?
"Under Free to Air (FTA) channels, there are handful of channels that are offering content. So, we identified this as a need gap. There is a large free to air audience that is not exposed to shows that we are offering. So, our content becomes a fresh programming for the tier II, III audience. For us, what will be important is the deeper penetration and the mass audience which has limited FTA channels available," Hiren Gada, CEO, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, told Moneycontrol.
Along with viewership, Gada is also confident about advertiser interest for the channel.
"Most advertisers are expecting a return to normalcy in two to three months period. And this for us should be a good time period because by this time we will have ratings and viewership and we can start pitching to the advertisers. FTA has low cost entry and this will help us sustain and give us good ROI (return on investment) on overall investment," he said.
However, Karan Taurani, Vice President, Elara Capital, thinks that GEC as a segment is seeing a decline in ad spends.
"Hindi GEC share in ad inventory as a whole has been declining in the last three years and there is massive pricing pressure too. So, Shemaroo will find it difficult to create a big impact among larger broadcasting groups like Star, Zee unless Shemaroo makes some compelling-content which will need big investments. Also, the FTA market is overcrowded with multiple larger peers. And post New Tariff Order (NTO) Free to Air channels have seen a sharp decline in ad spends, he said.