STAR India has announced the launch of its new Bangla general entertainment channel (GEC), STAR Jolsha. This is STAR India's second foray into regional entertainment, the first one being the Tamil GEC, STAR Vijay. STAR Jolsha airs from 8 September.
The programming line up includes the driver show 'Ghosh & Company', a chat show hosted by renowned Bengali film director, Rituparno Ghosh. Other shows include Bandhan, a drama about family ties; Neer Bhanga Jhor, a romantic thriller; Ekhaney Akash Neel, a love story set in a hospital; Durga, a devotional drama set in contemporary times, and the comedy show 'I Laugh You'.
Speaking on the launch, Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, said, "STAR has always raised the bar and set new benchmarks in Indian television entertainment. With Jolsha, we plan to create a revolution in the Bengali entertainment, similar to what we have been able to achieve with our other leading brands. With Jolsha, viewers can look forward to a standard of Bengali entertainment that's on par with the finest in the country, bar none."
JC Giri, regional channel head, STAR India, said, "Bengali regional genre has shown a substantial growth in the past two years vis-à-vis other regional entertainment markets. The overall market has also evolved, and viewers are looking forward to a change. In a year's time we promise to bring about the required change and transform the viewing habit of the Bengalis with Jolsha."
When asked as to why STAR chose Bangla as the language to gain a better foothold in regional entertainment, Prem Kamath, VP, marketing and communications, STAR India told Campaign India, "The choice of all our regional markets depends on a lot of factors such as potential, the significant need for the channel and whether we can bring something new to that market. Bengali is no different. We believe that we can create content that will be significantly better and more upscale than the content that is available here. Therefore, we believe that the channel will have more traction."
Gaurav Banerjee, VP, content head, Jolsha added, "We had to make a beginning somewhere, and there is no other place as good as Bengal, which we also see as a very big market for Bengali television consumption."
Jolsha has a promotional music video Chalo Paltai (Let's Change), composed by Bollywood music director Pritam and featuring prominent Bengali celebrities such as Rituparno Ghosh, Abhijeet, Raima Sen, Dr. Palash Sen, Jisshu, Jeet, etc. The video aims to capture the spirit of the 'Notoon Bengali' or the New Bengalees, who form the channel's target audience.