BIG CBS launches Spark TV channel in India

BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd., the joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International, successfully concludes the launches of its Television Channel network in India, with BIG CBS SPARK going on air from May 2, 2011.

The launch of BIG CBS SPARK marks the culmination of the launch of the 3 BIG CBS Channels, in a record breaking period of under 6 months. SPARK will showcase the biggest international youth hits like CBS’s latest hit show Hawaii 5O, the all new 9O21O, iconic American youth show – Cheaters & the edgy, sensational Jerry Springer Show, to name a few, creating a unique destination addressing a clear void in the youth entertainment space. SPARK, positioned as India’s first international youth entertainment channel, on day of launch itself, will be available across 25 million households in India.

With the first two channels BIG CBS PRIME toppling the competition (Source: TAM India – CS 15 – 34 AB – Males; 7 Metros – Week 16, 2011) and BIG CBS LOVE leading the English entertainment and lifestyle genre (Source: TAM India – CS 25 – 44 AB – MF – Wk 16, 2011) and grabbing relevant eyeballs, BIG CBS SPARK promises to entertain a very clearly targeted plum audience base between the age of 15-24 years.

BIG CBS SPARK opens new doors for marketers of youth brands, in an environment, where there is extremely limited international content targeted at the metro centric upmarket youth. Current youth channels cater to mass audiences beyond the metros, resulting in high spill over. SPARK, with its distinct and exciting programming line up, beckons advertisers as a single stop to address the urban upmarket youth. With the total youth population in the country pegged at approximately 460 million, and the current literate youth population growing at a phenomenal speed, this burgeoning market has huge potential. Television also emerges a winner in youth media consumption habits, with over 77% of the 333 million literate, or 259 million, with average time spent a day at over 97 minutes. All these prove to be clear indicators that this channel is chasing just the correct audience mix, one that seeks world-class international content, similar to their counterparts in the west.

With more than 30% of the Indian population between the age of 15-24 years, a media age of 24 years, and marketers flooding the market with products & services for this audience, the business opportunity for this channel remains immense.

Engaging youth, a typically time pressed and low attentive audience, discerning and with access to content through digital media, requires a distinctive programming mix.
The programming mix of SPARK is built around delivering youth an engaging mix of shows that are Edgy, Cool, Entertaining and Sexy. The Channel will draw from some of the best shows from the CBS Studios International library which ranges from Hawaii Five-0, the number one new series on U.S. television this season to the latest season of 90210, the all-time favourite American teenage drama series that revolves around the fictional West Beverly Hills High and Maximum Exposure – the most compelling moments caught on tape, and more. In addition, the acquired key international hit programs like Cheaters – one of the best youth reality shows from D3 Films and the controversial and sensational talk show The Jerry Springer Show from NBC Universal.

BIG CBS SPARK has also drawn an aggressive marketing plan to drive the initial sampling of the channel by the youth. BIG CBS SPARK has earmarked INR 50 million which will be used to promote the channel on various platforms including digital media, radio, youth touch points & television. To increase SPARK’s instant connect with the youth, the network has also chalked out an extensive social media marketing plan to reach out to youngsters on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The existing channels of the network i.e. BIG CBS PRIME and BIG CBS LOVE will be leveraged to drive viewership to the new channel in addition to other platforms from the group like BIG MAGIC, BIG 92.7 FM & BIG Street. Other Reliance Group platforms like Reliance Worlds, BIG CINEMAS, ZAPAK and BIG FLIX will also be leveraged to ensure SPARK is promoted strongly.

On the occasion of the launch of the third channel Mr. Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. said, “With the launch of Spark, we mark the completion of the Channels under the BIG CBS bouquet. We have clearly differentiated channels which are segmented to meet a clear audience base. Prime is more male skewed, while LOVE is targeted to the 25+ couples and now Spark is a clear youth destination. This ensures we cover the entire gamut of the upmarket urban audience. The 3 Channel bouquet will offer audiences unparalleled entertainment while offering marketers extremely focussed platforms to reach their audiences.”

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