Published on: 11/29/2010   |   All 2010 Press Releases

BIG CBS Prime Goes On Air Today, with Near Live American Content

For the Very First Time in India 

37 Hours of Original Programming Each Week 

Distribution Deals Inked with Reliance BIG TV, Digicable, DEN Networks, Hathway, InCable, Airtel DTH, 7Star and More, Reaching 20 Million HH'S 

BIG CBS Acquires Films from Sony Pictures Television and NBC Universal Libraries 

The Company Is in Talks with Other International Studios to Sign Film Slate Acquisition Deals, With Plans to Launch Indian Version of "Entertainment Tonight" 

BIG CBS Gets 'Preferred Access' Status for All CBS Studios Shows 

MUMBAI - Nov. 29, 2010 — BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd., an equal joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International, today announced the launch of its first premium English general entertainment television channel, BIG CBS Prime.  Marking history with revolutionary content, the Channel goes on air on today, Nov. 29, 2010, and will be beamed across the Indian sub-continent.

BIG CBS Prime will feature America's top-rated television shows from CBS Studios International, with the USP of airing almost concurrent to the United States, delivering its promise of the latest, freshest and hottest shows.  Delivering more hours of fresh programming and less repeats with 37 hours of original programming each week, BIG CBS Prime will feature hit shows like "NCIS," "Survivor," the acclaimed "Late Show with David Letterman" (which will air within 24 hours of airing in the US), the newest American cop drama "Blue Bloods," critically acclaimed legal drama "The Good Wife," Hollywood magazine shows like "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," the all-time favorite "Frasier" and the fast-paced forensic investigators drama, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." 

Commenting on the strategic business plans of BIG CBS Networks, Mr. Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited said, "The launch of BIG CBS Prime is the first step toward 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 nine months or more and minimal content exclusivity, the appeal of current programs and networks offering this genre of programs 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."  

Ensuring optimal reach at launch of its first channel, BIG CBS Networks has entered into strategic alliances with leading MSOs—Reliance BIG TV, Digicable, Den Networks and Hathway—leveraging their pan-India footprint to ramp up the network's reach.  It has also recently inked distribution deals with InCable, Airtel DTH and 7Star, taking total reach to 20 million households across India.  The Channel will also be available on AsiaSat3S, the most widely reached satellite platform across Asia and Australia. 

Tarun adds, "Through our distribution tie-ups, we have achieved nearly 100% target audience coverage to reach over 20 million households on the day of launch." 

As part of BIG CBS Networks' plans to offer a prolific programming mix, it has signed strategic deals with Sony Pictures and NBC Universal for exclusive access to a library of hit 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.  

A key component of BIG CBS Networks' programming strategy is to 'Indianize' international shows for its Indian viewers.  There is hardly any localization of international formats in India, considerably limiting the potential of consumer engagement.  BIG CBS plans to tap this potential by 'Indianizing' some of CBS Studios' best known and most successful shows.  Currently, it is working on the Indian format of "Entertainment Tonight," the U.S.'s hit #1 syndicated entertainment news magazine.  BIG CBS plans to rope in a leading Indian actress to host the Indian version of "Entertainment Tonight."  

BIG CBS Networks has the unique advantage of leveraging the equal joint venture between RBNL and CBS to create a definite differentiator.  BIG CBS Networks will be given the preferred access status for any new show from the CBS Studios International stable.  As a result, some of the most popular new series in the U.S. will find their home on the BIG CBS Networks' channels.  

As part of its airtime 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.  BIG CBS Networks will allow these luxury brands to tap into its focused target customer groups for their brand marketing needs.  The Indian luxury market is pegged to reach a USD 30 billion by 2015, with its advertising growing by 43% in the last four years.  With increasing awareness, consumerism and availability of the products in the country, the revenue potential only points north.


About BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd.

An equal joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and CBS Studios International, BIG CBS Networks is poised to change the way English language television entertainment is served to Indian audiences.  The JV will initially launch three English language  Entertainment Channels marking not just RBNL's, but the Reliance ADA Group's entry into the television broadcasting space and CBS Corporation's channel entry into India. 

The themed channels will be targeted at India's fast-growing, upwardly mobile population and will be branded BIG CBS Prime, a premium general entertainment channel; BIG CBS Spark, India's first international youth entertainment channel; and BIG CBS Love, India's first-ever international women's entertainment channel.  The channels will offer audiences the latest of CBS's world class and globally successful programming and will be made available across a network of digital and analog distribution platforms.   

With Reliance Broadcast Network Limited's prolific multi-media presence and an integrated sales offering, combined with the content muscle of CBS Corporation, BIG CBS stands to make a significant impact in India's burgeoning entertainment industry.  Reliance Broadcast Network Limited has a multi-media play in the spaces of Radio, Experiential Marketing, Out of Home, Digital and Television, and specializes in creating and executing integrated solutions for clients across the country.  

CBS Studios International, the leading supplier of programming to the international television marketplace, is a division of CBS Corporation.


*   *   *


© 2015 CBS Corporation and CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.