RBNL eyes break-even by FY 13

BIG CBS is a joint venture between RBNL and US-based CBS Studios.

The growth will be driven by the company's air-time sales strategy. BIG CBS plans to tap the luxury brands for the air-time slots and luxury brands advertising will form a critical volume on the channels.

The Indian luxury market is currently pegged at around USD 14 billion and is expected to reach USD 30 billion by 2015, with the advertising growing by 43 per cent over the last four years.

"We are eyeing break-even by FY13. We are targetting a healthy 40 per cent growth in our new businesses, including BIG CBS, to grow by 40 per cent QoQ. Besides, the luxury market is also growing rapidly and is expected to reach USD 30 billion by 2015," the official told PTI under strict condition of anonymity.

The company that got listed in December last year, has posted a revenue of Rs 110.5 crore in the first half of FY11 from its businesses such as radio, out-of-home, experiential marketing and digital and expects a healthy jump in its revenue from its BIG CBS joint venture once the channels go on air.

The official also said the company has already signed broadcast deals with Sony Pictures Television and NBC Universal Libraries and plans to ink two more deals with Universal Studios and Disney for acquiring a library of Hollywood films for its weekend movie programming.

The company is looking at closing the deals in the next two months, he said.
When contacted by PTI, RBNL CEO Tarun Katial declined to comment on the revenue figures as well as the deals.

"We cannot comment on the revenue figures. Our first channel BIG CBS Prime is going on air from today. The launch is the first step towards addressing the current need-gaps of Indian viewers for fresh international programming.

English programming is highly under developed due to the time lag of  nine months in premieres of shows between the US and India. With our exclusive range of programming-mix, BIG CBS is uniquely poised to grow the size of the market," Katial said.

To ensure a wider coverage and reach 130 million households, of which 103 million have access to cable or satellite television, including DTH, RBNL has signed distribution deals with seven Multi System Operators (MSOs) such as Big TV, Digicable, DEN Networks, Hathway, Airtel DTH, InCable and 7Star.

It plans to ink 3-4 more of such deals in the next few months, even as it plans to launch its other two channels —- Love and Spark -- soon.

BIG CBS Spark is expected to go on air by December-end, while BIG CBS Love is slated to be launched by this fiscal-end, Katial said.

"Through our distribution tie-ups, we have achieved a 100 per cent target audience coverage to reach over 20 million households right from the day of launch. India is poised to become the world's largest direct-to-home satellite," Katial said, adding that the channels would be visible in India and bordering countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

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