Campaign India Team
Feb 28, 2013

‘The ability to surprise viewers is in the channel’s DNA’

Q&A with Rahul Johri, SVP and GM - South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, on TLC’s progress as a lifestyle channel, and local content

‘The ability to surprise viewers is in the channel’s DNA’

Campaign India caught up with Discovery’s Rahul Johri, as Network channel TLC announced the launching of another locally produced show. Edited excerpts:

Where does TLC stand in the lifestyle genre as we speak?

TLC continues to be a major player in the lifestyle genre. The channel is known for its differentiated content and the ability to surprise viewers is something that’s in the channel’s DNA. It is a channel that caters to a premium audience, in the big cities of the country. And, that’s something that we will continue to be in the future.

Is the focus going to be around launching more India-specific shows?

All channels from the Discovery Network are inherently global channels. Audiences come to see global shows on our channels. I agree, there is a role for India-specific content too from the point of view of competition in the marketplace. It’s a strategy we adopt to bring in more viewers to the channel. But, TLC is an international channel and will continue to be so. There is no reason why that (positioning) should change.

We have launched a few India-specific shows in the past. We’re now launching a show called Style Inc with Aalim Hakim. The show will bring you the glamorous trends of India’s film stars. You will see Aalim Hakim work his magic on stars like Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor.

This is the second attempt at doing a hairstyling show. How was the response to Be Blunt with Adhuna Akhtar, which was launched last year?

The response was good. It’s an interesting format; which is why we’re introducing a new show around the same idea, this time with Aalim Hakim. It’s going to be a weekly show; it something that we’re excited about.

Are we seeing enough growth in the genre? Or are we seeing the genre stagnating?

India is a young country. Literacy levels are rising, aspirations are rising. So you will always see the genre expanding. Being a definitive lifestyle channel, TLC is at the forefront of bringing innovative and refreshing shows. We’re seeing an increasing amount of new viewers coming to the channel. I’m sure as we grow our viewership, the overall size of the lifestyle genre too will expand.

What are the focus areas for the channel now? 

We will continue to bring refreshing content; to bring the latest trends in travel, fashion and food. We want to be the first choice of viewers for lifestyle content on TV by providing them a lifestyle experience. That’s how the story of TLC has progressed over the years, and that’s exactly how we will look make inroads going forward.

Campaign India

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