BIG CBS Prime, the first channel from the joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International, will go on air on today, November 29, 2010 and will be beamed across the Indian sub-continent.
BIG CBS Prime will feature American television shows from CBS Studios international like NCIS, Survivor, Late Show with David Letterman, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Frasier and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation , and aims to deliver 37 hours of original programming each week.
Commenting on the strategic business plans of BIG CBS Networks, Tarun Katial, chief executive officer, Reliance Broadcast Networks Limited, said, “The launch of BIG CBS Prime is the first step towards addressing the current need gaps of Indian viewers for internationally acclaimed quality programming. BIG CBS Networks aims to address current gaps felt by the Indian viewers for fresh international programming. With the current time lag between the US and India premiers of shows ranging 9 months or more and minimal content exclusivity, the appeal of current programmes and networks offering this genre of programmes is limited. As a result of this, the English programming as a category is highly under-developed. With our exclusive range of programming mix, BIG CBS is uniquely posed to grow the size of this market.”
BIG CBS Networks has entered into strategic alliances with leading MSOs – Reliance BIG TV, Digicable, Den Networks and Hathway. It has recently also inked distribution deals with InCable, Airtel DTH and 7Star and will also be available on AsiaSat3S. Katial added, “Through our distribution tie-ups, we have achieved nearly 100% target audience coverage to reach over 20 million households on the day of launch.”
The company has signed strategic deals with Sony Pictures and NBC Universal for access to a library of Hollywood movies to beef up its weekend movie programming. The Company is also in talks with other international studios to acquire a slate of hit Hollywood films.
BIG CBS also plans to make Indian editions of some of CBS Studios’ shows, like Entertainment Tonight. It will be given the preferred access status for any new show from the CBS Studios International stable. As part of its air-time sales strategy, BIG CBS Networks plans to tap luxury brands for airtime slots and luxury brands advertising will form a critical volume on the channels.