'Digital first' approach with 'Baalveer Returns' is an exciting experiment for Sony SAB: Neeraj Vyas

After tasting success with Baalveer few years back and understanding the audience preference on Sony LIV, the team at Sony SAB have decided to present 'Baalveer Returns' with a different and interesting approach. The show was recently launched in Mumbai

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Baalveer captured the imagination of millions across the country with his bravery and courage. Now, the magical journey of Baalveer is all set to enthrall fans yet again Fans will get to see Dev Joshi who returns as Baalveer in a completely new avatar, battling bigger evil forces than ever. Produced by Optimystix Production, the show will be action-packed with wizardry and superpowers to keep viewers intrigued. With some of the best in class visual effects and cutting-edge stunt work, Sony SAB’s Baalveer Returns will surely wow audiences with its gripping storyline, dazzling sets, and brilliant performances.

Set against the backdrop of the two mystical worlds of Veer Lok and Kaal Lok, this magical ride of epic proportions will showcase Baalveer on a journey, this time with some exciting new companions. This show will witness the boy wonder Dev Joshi, who is now grown up, on a quest to find a successor worthy enough to carry on his legacy, following the complete annihilation of erstwhile Pari Lok. Little does he know that his answer lies on earth in the form of Vivaan, to be portrayed by the very adorable Vansh Sayani. With Baal Pari and other beautiful yet highly powerful fairies by his side, Baalveer will have to face his biggest challenge yet - the evil forces of Kaal Lok led by Timnasa played by Pavitra Punia. The show also boasts a distinguished lineup of stars who play various characters of Veer Lok.

In a conversation with Mumbai Live.com, Neeraj Vyas, Business Head, Sony SAB, PAL and Sony MAX movie cluster, shares the journey of the channel over the last few years, and what led to this decision of bringing Baalveer back to the channel.

On being asked about the Challenges Sony SAB has overcome in 15 years, he said, "We are putting money where the mouth is, as we have looked at the environment and then taken decision and chances accordingly. We had to expand, but we still don't do certain genres compared to all other GECs. We have limited expression, but we have a sweet spot, which helps us communicate with families. In today's reality, where the consumer is deciding smartly, we need to make shows which they like. Over the last few years, Sony SAB has made a transition of moving from catering only to kids, to new demography of 15-21, and we are very happy about it. It's no longer a channel which focuses only on kids. In fact, Sony SAB today is being watched by everyone, across all age groups."

Since the first installment of the show was a success, does Baalveer returns add pressure on the channel? He said, "It is one of the most expensive shows we have done, and we hope it brings us good ratings and does well. I personally want the show to reach out to people where it surprises them with the quality and makes them believe that something like this is made in India. Today where there is a content explosion and people are making choices, if one doesn't meet their expectations, then one isn't changing themselves. I see this show building a huge amount of perception for the brand. People we know have been shaken up by this show and we want the audience to feel as well."

Many shows on Sony SAB are made keeping the relatability and relevancy in mind. While many shows address social issues, the channel is focusing on making Baalveer relevant as well, for the audience today. Sharing more about it, Neeraj added, "Audience's preference today has evolved and will evolve. Take examples of movie industry which have released recently, people are planning films with actors and stars because one has to fit the character to get the role. 10 years back it was unthinkable, but not anymore. This is the change we need to observe and remain relevant. As a brand we believe in 'being in the recent reality.' Having said this, Baalveer Returns will focus on value entertainment."

Shows like Baalveer which are loved by people also offers the channel a chance to venture into merchandising, which can help both in expanding the reach and generating revenue. Offering clarification on the same, he added, "There is a huge plan and it will be done in a productive and phase-wise manner. We have brands like Aladdin or Tenali and others which are not available with others. Moreover, these characters are Indian and so the sky is the limit. Currently, we are working on it, with an agency, and soon we shall announce something."

Baalveer returns also becomes the first show on the network to be 'Digital First,' which means it will be available for Sony LIV premium viewers, well ahead of time. Talking about how the team came to this conclusion. he said, "This is a happy attempt for all of us, as this will give a big audience to Sony LIV. The audience can watch it first on the platform in the morning and the same will be then available on the channel at the assigned time slot. It is an exciting and interesting experiment as we don't know what the outcome will be. It is a good thing to do and within their ecosystem of consumers, it might just be an interesting option. The success of Baalveer season 1 and the numbers on the platform was the starting point for it. It could have been other shows, but the data served as the trigger point for this decision."

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