Tuesday, August 14, 2007

'Big Boss' Ravi Kishen to anchor new Bhojpuri channel

Bhojpuri superstar and Big Boss celebrity Ravi Kishen will get Rs 1 crore for a three-year contract with Sri Adhikari Brothers which is launching a dedicated Bhojpuri entertainment channel — ‘Hum Bhojpuriya’. Mr Kishen will be the channel’s brand ambassador.

The contract entails performing varieties of reality and talent shows for the channel during this period, apart from being the face of the channel and promoting it.

Markand Adhikari, VC & MD of SAB said, “Ravi Kishen is one of the star icons in the Bhojpuri film industry and his association with our channel is sure to connect with the Bhojpuri audience. His popularity among the national and international Bhojpuri community will help attract overseas viewers.”

After the southern regional languages, Bhojpuri is emerging as a huge entertainment market in the country. In fact, the Bhojpuri market is currently a high growth regional market, and SAB wants to cash in on the success of the Bhojpuri cinema. The Bhojpuri movie market notched up extraordinary growth in 2006 — a 100% increase in growth over 2005, with 76 films produced. They also account for 7% of the total number of films produced, only marginally behind Malayalam and Kannada films, according to the Central Board of Film Certification.

The demand for Bhojpuri content is not restricted to eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but is high in Mumbai, with its large number of migrants from these areas. The films are also doing well in Jammu and Kashmir, Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Noida and Gurgaon, which have a sizeable population of migrant labour from Bihar. There is an estimated 40 lakh Bhojpuri-speaking population in Mumbai, 18 lakh in Punjab and about 8 lakh in Delhi. Bengal and Nepal are emerging as the next big markets.

Interestingly, it is also spoken in around 37 countries and is Mauritius’ second national language. This small island in the Indian Ocean also has a regular TV news bulletin in Bhojpuri.

Ravi Kishan, who shot to fame after winning the title of ‘Big Boss’, will also anchor the soon-to-be-launched talent hunt show ‘Bathroom Singer’.

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