Jun 28, 2008

Ramayan going Global

NDTV Imagine’s Ramayan going global
Expects to regain 50% of its cost via syndication
Meera Mohanty
New Delhi, June 27 NDTV Imagine is leveraging its content through syndication; it expects to regain as much as 50 per cent of its costs on certain shows from out of TV, or out of advertising revenues before the first two years.
“Syndication was always considered a residual or add-on revenue. But at Imagine, we have a different philosophy; we don’t consider ourselves just as a channel, but content creators. We will come up with ideas across platforms,” said Mr Gaurav Gandhi, EVP, Business Operations and Ancillary Revenues, NDTV Imagine.
It has syndicated its Ramayan to Sun Network’s Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam channels. The programme is now reaching 15 million more viewers (NDTV Imagine claims its own Hindi version reached 65 million on prime time). The channel is earning additional revenues from the license fee and a share of advertising revenues that the dubbed versions will generate.
On the agenda is to take Ramayan to Bengali and Marathi audiences through similar tie-ups. The content will also travel to Mauritius, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, and will see a multi-lingual home video release. Children’s programmes have been syndicated earlier, so have general entertainment shows and formats, but not while the original version was on air simultaneously. A great part of the credit, Mr Gandhi insisted, goes to Sun Network for betting on the acceptance of a dubbed version of NDTV’s Ramayan. The show’s running at 7 o’clock in the evening on Surya and Gemini and on Sunday mornings on Sun TV.
“The content is doing extremely well in the dubbed versions too. It’s been on air for about a month on Sun and the ratings for the slot have nearly doubled from 4-5 to 10-11 TRPs) said Mr Gandhi. “Mythology and kids content travel well. Soaps don’t always travel well,” said Mr Gandhi. But at NDTV Imagine, new revenue options, such as home video, are being factored in early on.
Nachle Ve, the dance based show hosted by choreographer Saroj Khan, will now be made available as dance tutorials in Jane Fonda-style home videos. It will be released in Germany and France, and licensed domestically too, according to Mr Gandhi. Its English learning programming, ‘Angrezi mein kehte hain” will also see new language versions; talks are also on with an university to use it as teaching material. The channel is also exporting the formats themselves. An Egyptian version of Nachle Ve, hosted by an Egyptian counterpart of Ms Khan, will be produced with the help and expertise of NDTV Imagine.

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