Where does India figure in NBC's agenda?
It's our largest market in Asia. It accounts for 3 million of the 4.5 million viewers across the region.
Could you tell us if there's anything special in store for India?
Six India-specific shows produced by TV-18 will be on air by the end of 1997.
How much creative interaction will there be between NBC and TV-18?
We're developing the shows jointly. We rely on TV-18 because they know the Indian market. And we know the global trends.
Three million viewers in a year. What's NBC's USP?
We air shows that are relevant, that you can discuss in the office the next morning. So much so that Jay Leno has become a household name.
Isn't connectivity still a problem for you in India?
That's certainly an issue. Many people I met complained that they don't receive NBC. But it's being sorted out.
How crucial is feedback—to know how your audience is reacting to the programming?
We wouldn't be responsible programmers if we don't heed the viewers' demands.
How exactly do you decide what works?
Programming concepts are never fixed ideas. They are alive, they keep growing all the time. The idea is to keep reacting.
With Star and Discovery having introduced Hindi programming, does NBC also feel the need to do so?
No, we can't be different from our mother channel.
So NBC's customisation will be limited to a handful of Indian shows?
We can't be what we are not. We're not looking for a mass audience.
But advertisers generally shy away from English programming as they tend to look for a mass audience?
Viewership for English language shows is large enough in India for advertisers who are looking for a specific target audience.