CBS, Reliance Joint Venture Channel in India Broadens Reach With Hindi Feed

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The U.S. entertainment giant calls the Big CBS Prime feed "the next logical expansion of our India growth strategy."

India's Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Corp.'s CBS Studios International have launched a Hindi feed of their joint venture English entertainment channel, Big CBS Prime, in the fast-growing Asian media market.

With the feed, Big CBS Prime becomes the only international English-language general entertainment channel with a multi-lingual feed in a move designed to broaden its audience reach. The network has so far reached 1.9 million people, with the new feed expected to boost that to more than 10 million, the companies said.

The new feed is initially available in eight big metropolitan areas, but will be rolled out further.

"Male audiences are an under-served audience on Indian television through limited genres like news, sports and action movies, which are intermittently available," the joint venture partners said in explaining one key upside opportunity. "This gap in entertainment offerings creates an excellent opportunity for a male offering across the Hindi-speaking markets."

The network airs such U.S. hit shows as NCIS, CSI, Blue Bloods, Elementary and America’s Got Talent, now with the option of viewing it in Hindi.

Said Reed Manville, executive vice president of international channels for CBS Studios International: “The Prime Hindi feed is the next logical expansion of our India growth strategy, leveraging our strong brand position, built with Reliance since the initial launch of the Big CBS venture just over two years ago."

The Hindi feed will be promoted via a multimedia campaign.

The CBS and Reliance joint venture kicked off with three English-language entertainment channels in the first foray into India by CBS Corp.

In addition to Big CBS Prime, the partners are jointly operating music network Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love.

Twitter: @georgszalai