Viacom18 expands MTV brand franchise with cafe chain

Viacom18 Consumer Products, the consumer products arm of broadcaster Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd is all set to bring its youth brand MTV closer to its consumers with the launch of its cafe chain, FLYP@MTV.

Viacom18 will roll out its first cafe in New Delhi in December. Following this, the broadcaster along with Funbars Hospitality Pvt. Ltd plans to open 10 more cafes in the next five years beginning with Mumbai and Bangalore.

Funbars Hospitality has the master license to conceptualise, develop, execute and operate the chain of cafes.

“A café is yet another ecosystem that we, in partnership with Funbars, are creating as an extension of our youth brand MTV. The launch of FLYP@MTV is a move that further strengthens Viacom18’s bouquet of varied offerings,” said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18.

The cafe will have various elements such as 'MTV Immersive Museum' – a virtual museum providing customers a glimpse of the world of MTV in the previous years through virtual reality tools Oculus and Controllers. The customer can also select and play videos from the MTV Archive. Next in line is 'Book a Bakra' – which allows consumers to book pranks which can be recorded through hidden cameras and mics.

A virtual shelf, 'Endless Shelf' showcases various MTV merchandise. The consumer products division of the television network already sells merchandise in 12 categories including electronics, stationary, apparel, innerwear, footwear, cosmetics, personal care, accessories. The products are sold under its flagship brand MTV and popular reality show Roadies.

“Each element in the café gets its inspiration from various themes associated with MTV. Our aim is to make FLYP@MTV a cult hangout destination,” said Viraj Lamba, head of business division and co-promoter, Funbars Hospitality.

Funbars Hospitality is part of Delhi based Marwah Group which operates in diverse sectors such as food & beverage, real estate, education, construction and automobiles.

Interestingly, Viacom18 isn't the first broadcaster to launch its own cafe brand. In 2011, Channel V from the stable of rival broadcaster Star India Pvt Ltd opened its first outlet of [v] Spot Café & Bar at Saket, New Delhi. It had plans to open 30 more outlets within the next three years, mainly focussing on mini-metros and Tier I cities. However, two years after its launch, Channel V had brought down the shutters on its cafe. The cafe brand was closed after the termination of agreement with Leisure Streak Hospitality Ltd, the then master franchisee.

Even as Prem Kamath, the former executive vice president and general manager, Channel [V] India, spoke about the company's plan to revive its cafe brands, it is yet to launch one.

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