Big CBS Spark Launches in India

Youth entertainment channel Big CBS Spark has launched in India, making the third service from the Big CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd., the joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International to have bowed in the market.

Big CBS Spark is the first international youth entertainment channel to launch in India and the joint venture partners are hoping to fill a void in the TV landscape with an English-language service targeting an underserved demo. About 30% of India's population is between the ages of 15 and 24 years and the overall population has a median age of 24. The total youth population is pegged at about 460 million.

The joint venture partners also believe that there is a lack of English-language programming in the market and the two other English-language services -- Prime and Love -- that were started by CBS and Reliance are already pulling in strong ratings even though they are relatively new to the market, with the first one launching only six month ago.

"With the launch of Spark, we mark the completion of the channels under the Big CBS bouquet," noted Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. in a statement. "We have clearly differentiated channels which are segmented to meet a clear audience base. Prime is more male skewed, while Love is targeted to the 25+ couples and now Spark is a clear youth destination. This ensures we cover the entire gamut of the upmarket urban audience. The 3 Channel bouquet, will offer audiences unparalleled entertainment while offering marketers extremely focused platforms to reach their audiences."

The channels rely on a number of series from CBS, such as Hawaii Five-0, 90210, Maximum Exposure, and Smash Cuts, as well as programming from outside suppliers, such as The Jerry Springer Show from NBC Universal.