by Rohini Haldea
- Viewership of Bhojpuri TV channels is on the upswing. (Bhojpuri is a local dialect spoken in eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar.) Mahuaa TV — India’s first exclusive 24-hour Bhojpuri channel — was launched in 2008 and its viewership in the region equals second-rung Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) (Afaqs.com, 27 October 2010)
- At last count, at least six more channels have been launched, including Hamar TV and Sangeet Bhojpuri.
- Mainstream entertainment is starting to reflect Bhojpuri flavour, as well. Some examples: 2010 Bollywood blockbuster Dabangg used the lingo extensively and shows on Hindi GEC — like Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijjo and Bhagyavidhata — use Bihari culture and nuances as a backdrop.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- As is evident from the slew of film releases and references in popular culture, Bhojpuri subculture is rapidly gaining popularity — both in its home region and outside.
- Despite the multiple channel and show launches, the genre share is at a modest 3.1% in Bihar. It is unlikely to become primary viewing in the foreseeable future but it has the potential to develop into a strong niche.