UDAIPUR: Discovery Networks India's first production The
Great Indian Wedding to be aired on Discovery Travel & Living (DTL) was
screened for a select media gathering last night. With this, the lifestyle channel
has pioneered the lifestyle genre delivering style and luxury to the discerning
upscale SEC AB audience of males, females and couples in the 18-45 years age group.
Produced by Delhi based Blue Mango films, it debuts with the episode of Priya
Sachdev and Vikram Chatwal's wedding. It is a one of a kind series, allowing the
viewer to experience the wedding as an insider. The focus clearly is on weddings
with a difference and have a twist to them: opulence, glam quotient, location
and theme. The pilot episode premiers on 20 August at 8 pm.
The programme captures
the glamorous theme parties extending from exotic locations like Jag Mandir in
Udaipur to premium hotels in Delhi, the striking performances by Indian and international
artists and the romantic and religious wedding ceremony.
The host, Natasha
Mago presents an insiders view, chatting up the bride, groom, guests, the challenges
and frustrations of the wedding planner and the actual wedding ceremony. The regal Oberoi Udaivilas
at Udaipur was the venue where Discovery Networks India executive vice president
and managing director Deepak Shourie and the Lifestyle Networks VP Aditya Tripathi
gave details on the commissioning of India centric series and spoke of the bouquet
of locally produced shows to go on air from this month.
Shourie in his brief
welcome speech said that having successfully reinvented documentary and real world
television, Discovery brings the same vision and experience to DTL's locally produced
series. He stated that India will be highlighted on the channel.
Travel and Living has created and established the lifestyle genre in Indian television.
To further our growth goals and to satisfy the incessant demand from both Indian
and foreign viewers for more India-centric content, we have commissioned programmes
that capture the contemporary India through a variety of themes. These productions
will be up to international standards and will be the next step in successfully
establishing our lifestyle expertise," Shourie said.
On The Great
Indian Wedding, Tripathi said, "When we decided on the wedding theme,
it so happened that the Sachdev/Chatwal wedding was also being planned and we
took it from there. During the ad break of this pilot episode, a banner will be
streamed asking viewers if they know of similar weddings that can be featured
. And, so based on the responses and our research, the 13 part series will be
made. The remaining episodes will go into production in the 2006-2007 wedding
season," said Tripathi. The next series in India
centric shows which is almost in its final stages of production is Indian Rendezvous
where six hosts from 6 cities take the viewers on a journey of their native
cities; famous spots, to do's and must visits, besides revealing secret trails
and hidden treasure troves in the city of their choice. The series has Sushma
Reddy on Mumbai, Ayaan Ali Bangash on Delhi, Konkane Sen Sharma on Kolkatta, Meera
Vasudevan on Chennai, Nagesh Kukonoor on Hyderabad and Vasundhara Das on Bangalore
Another show under production is Matter Of Taste, hosted by
epicurean Vir Sanghvi. This is a journey around the Indian palate and takes a
peek at origins of Indian food, tradition and culture and rare insights. Singhvi
travels around the country for this show.
Other series under production
which cover hotels, fashion and style, interiors. "But, this the first of
many and surely the first of a regular supply,"assures Tripathi.
the way forward for DTL, Tripathi stressed was that it was essentially an international
channel and India productions will be a small but, significant part of the repertoire
of programmes. Said he, "The Indian programming will never dominate the channel
as we clearly make it with the intention of airing it in other parts of the world.
So, maybe 10-15 per cent of the programming will be Indian."
to Indiantelevision.com on Discovery producing programs in India, Tripathi
made it clear that it is not for Indian audiences. "The way the Discovery
format is used, we make a program on one part of the world and we show it in other
parts of the world. That is the nature of our programming and all the shows on
the three channels Discovery, DTL and Animal Planet are on global interest. Similarly,
we know our channel here is an international channel that provides high quality
entertainment for a global audience.
"India's relevance on the world
map is increasing, there are more people around the world interested in India,
coming to India to work and travel so therefore DTL is producing programming on
Indian audiences but this will go to our channels across the world. The programming
will show India in a positive light and and in turn we get eyeballs from other
regions who see these programs and maybe plan to visit India seeing it."
its launch in November 2004, DTL has striven to make its positioning distinct
from that of factual channels. "Our strategy has been to offer varied non
fictional content as it is our strength. But we don't need to be factual, we can
be factual as well as be in lifestyle group and our positioning in the lifestyle
group is aspirational, yet attainable. It's not enjoying life, it is about celebrating
life. It is good looking entertainment, said Tripathi.
Tripathi also spoke
of how the concept of a lifestyle channel came about. He said, "Some years
ago we took stock of the international TV landscape and we identified that a number
genres across the world had international leaders like news had CNN, BBC and sports
was ESPN, movies was HBO, factual will be Discovery and among all this we identified
a niche in the lifestyle space. There was no global brand and given that we had
some experience in lifestyle and travel genres, we felt that this was an area
we could occupy and dominate in the years to come. And, hence India was the first
country to launch lifestyle networks."
Currently available in 22 million
homes across the country, DTL is also now available on the DTH platform. It attracts
120 advertisers from across product categories, further cementing the channel's
unique value proposition.