It has been a little over a year since Malayala Manorama forayed into general entertainment television space with Mazhavil Manorama, after successfully launching the news channel Manorama News. Campaign India caught up with Mathew for the highlights in the year gone by. Excerpts.
It has been a little over a year since you launched Mazhavil Manorama. Can you tell us the journey of the channel so far?
Mazhavil Manorama's promise when we launched on 31 October 2011 was to provide quality entertainment with differentiated and unique programming. We introduced new formats for the first time in Malayalam Television and we believe we have more than delivered on this. One of our fiction shows won the State award for the best serial. This is a tremendous achievement for Mazhavil Manorama that we could establish the channel and do well in less than a year.
How do you rate the performance of the channel? How Mazhavil Manorama has fared vis-à-vis the established players like Asianet and Surya TV?
In a short span we earned our viewers’ appreciation and we are doing well on the ratings front. We were the No 1 GEC channel on Thiruvonam, during the festival season (ABC F15+ CS, Kerala: TAM). To achieve this against strong incumbent players is a milestone and all credit goes to our programming team. Now we are No. 2 in segments that matter most to advertisers.
When is the channel expected to break even?
Our focus is on growing Mazhavil Manorama into the No 1 general entertainment channel (in Malayalam). We are already on the growth path and this momentum will allow us to achieve break even as forecasted by us.
News has been you forte for years, and launching the news channel was the natural progression. How tough was launching the GEC?
Both are very different in terms of television experience and cannot be compared. For us, it was about creating Mazhavil Manorama, a channel that will entertain the Kerala audience with new programming. We always believe that if we find the right talent and work as a team, we will do well. We have the best talent, who have excelled in the entertainment space. Our team is led by Anil George, CEO, and Jude Attipetty, head of programmes. Our goal is to be the No 1 entertainment channel in Kerala and with this team we feel we are on the right track.