The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The F word that’s hot on beam
- Rising viewership ratings fix Fashion TV focus on city

The television is mute, but the images shout out loud. Few admit to tuning in, but the ratings keep on rising.

The country’s ‘cultural capital’ has been crowned “the best and the most evolving” market for following — or ogling — fashion on the small screen. Swayed and surprised by the “sensational support” from city viewers, Fashion TV India has decided to focus more on Calcutta.

“Being a fashion network, we cater to a niche market. And Calcutta figures at the top of the list in terms of both gross rating points and reach,” says Anita Horam, head, programming and creative services, Fashion TV, India. “There is no doubt that it has emerged as a critical market for us.”

As per the data available with the television network, both men (55 per cent) and women (45 per cent) enjoy an eyeful of FTV. But the Calcutta cableman identifies the male as the prime pusher. “It’s the only channel, besides sports, which we cannot afford to switch off even for a day,” admits a leading cable operator of south Calcutta. “The complaints that pour in, almost entirely from men, if FTV-viewing is interrupted, is next only to an important cricket or football match. And the demand for this ‘silent’ channel, we commonly refer to as flesh-TV, is ever increasing.”

No wonder then, that for Fashion TV India, it’s ‘focus: Calcutta’. The 24-hour network dedicated to fashion, beauty and style is busy scouting for franchisees and partners to roll out lifestyle products in the form of fashion bars, fashion cafés and fashion salons in various cities. And the next stop could easily be Calcutta.

“The city has a huge market and good viewership. After the success of our first fashion bar in Bangalore, we are planning to open a few more by the end of this year and we are seriously considering Calcutta,” confirms Horam.

Be it the two-hour Fashion India or the international ramp shows — there are takers for anything and everything when it comes to most Calcutta ‘satellite’ homes. And it’s not just the way of all flesh. The growth of the garment segment is a big driver, too.

“Fashion coming from this part of the country is distinct and has a cutting edge. Everyone has a different feel and style, and we want to promote them,” adds Horam, who picks Sabyasachi ‘Pepsi’ Mukherjee, as the hometown designer to watch out for.

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