Viacom18 to launch its biggest entertainment property ‘Bigg Boss’ on OTT first

In the first such step, Viacom18, the Reliance Industries joint venture owned by TV18 (NSE puts -0.48%) and Viacom Inc. Its notable entertainment property, "Bigg Boss," is housed on the video streaming platform Voot.

The six-week version, "Bigg Boss OTT" will no longer be available on television and will later move to the regular television version of the popular reality show.

"It is a truly extraordinary move," said Gourav Rakshit, COO of Viacom18 Digital Ventures. "Everyone talks about the growth of digital technology, but showing that kind of courage and showing the biggest property on television exclusively on digital television is something that no one has done yet. We are putting our money where our mouths are."

"Bigg Boss OTT" will premiere on August 8 with access, sharing and interaction to allow viewers to immerse themselves in the contestants' journey to Bigg Boss's home.

Big Boss 2021

In addition to the hour-long episode on Voot, viewers will have the opportunity to watch exclusive discounts, 24/7 content drop, and a fully interactive 24/7 live stream from home. After completing the digital exclusive, the show will transition seamlessly into color with the release of the 15th season of Big Boss.

Rakshit said that while the live stream will be for paid subscribers only, there will also be plenty of free content. "Voot is a freemium platform in the true sense of the word and all of our users, free or paid, will have some access. We expect a 2X increase in ad revenue compared to last year on OTT."

"Big Boss" is the second-biggest property on Indian television after the Indian Premier League (IPL). Produced by Endemol, the format reality show has also seen several regional incarnations in India.

The exclusive digital format will also allow fans to interact with participants or their housemates in a new way. They can also be part of the progression of the program, voting for a specific set of tasks.