Viacom18 eyes merchandising Colors, VH1 brands in India

Viacom18 eyes merchandising Colors, VH1 brands in India

New Delhi: Buoyed by the success of shows such as Big Boss and Hit Factory, media house Viacom18 is mulling to come out with merchandise products for entertainment channels like Colors and VH1 in India.

Viacom18, a 50:50 joint venture between US-based Viacom and Network18 Group, is also looking to expand its existing MTV merchandise by foraying into footwear in 2010.

Besides MTV, the company owns and operates television channels like Colors, Nickelodeon and VH1 in India.

“We will look at merchandising our other properties like VH1 and Colors and also expand our existing brands. There are definitely opportunities," Viacom18 Vice-President(Consumer Products and Communications) Sandeep Dahiya said.

He, however, did not specify the time frame for coming out with merchandise for Colors and VH1 in India.

Big Boss on Colors has been a hit with the Indian audience and in its third season saw wrestler Dara Singh’s son Vindoo Dara Singh walking away with a prize money of Rs1 crore.

At present, Viacom 18 sells paper products, watches, bedsheets and co-branded sim cards under the brands ‘MTV´ and ‘Roadies´ (a reality show on the channel) and soft toys under the Nickelodeon brand.

“We would like to expand into various categories like footwear and head gear, earliest by next year (for the MTV brand). We are present in around eight categories and can add another 15 more," he said.

Dahiya said in India, the MTV merchandise sells more than the Nickledeon, accounting for over 90 per cent of the firm’s merchandising revenue, although globally Nickelodeon merchandise sells more.

He, however, did not share the details of revenue from the merchandise business but said the company expects about 20-25% of its revenues coming from licensing its brands over the next three years.

“Right now, merchandising is less than 10% of our revenues. But it has the potential to grow to 20-25% over the next three years," he said.