You know What’s common between Pitchers, Permanent Roommates, Ye Meri Family, and Kota Factory?
All of them feature among the top IMDb (Internet Movie Database) Shows from India. A more important thing to notice, all of them have been produced by one media start-up – The Viral Fever Media Labs a.k.a TVF.
Started by Arunabh Kumar, from IIT Kharagpur, The Viral Fever was one of the early arrivals on Youtube and the Indian digital entertainment space with short sketches covering a range of topics on Indian politics, movies, lifestyle, and emerging social concepts. They have come a long way and have more than 6 million subscribers on their Primary Youtube Channel.
TVF has been in operation informally since 2010 and was registered as a sole proprietorship in 2011. In November 2014, it was incorporated with the registrar of companies as TVF Media Labs Pvt Ltd. The current parent organisation, Contagious Online Media Pvt Ltd, is a relatively new entity, incorporated in August 2015.
After graduating from IIT Kharagpur, Kumar quit his job as a consultant for US Air Force to try his hand at production jobs, assisting Farah Khan on Om Shanti Om. After a few production jobs, Kumar began to write and produce his own short films and videos.
Arunabh Kumar, along with long-time friends and IIT alumni, Amit Golani, and Biswapati Sarkar began pitching shows aimed at the youth to MTV. Faced with rejection, Arunabh decided to work on their own projects.
It is beyond doubt that Kumar and his creative team, consisting of writer-actors like Biswapati Sarkar, Nidhi Bisht, Amit Golani, Anandashwar Dwivedi, and Deepak Mishra, were on to a good thing right from their first video, Rowdies, a spoof of the hit MTV show MTV Roadies, followed by spoofs like Gangs of Social Media, Barely Speaking with Arnub, Chai Sutta Chronicles and Ek Thi Behen.
TVF’s long-form work started to get noticed with its first web series, Permanent Roommates, built around a young couple, the first season of which aired on 29th October 2014 with each episode getting over a million views (the first episode has, till date, a whopping 10.2 million views).
The show was also instrumental in kicking off the trend of youth-focused web series for a generation that had little relevant content on Indian cable television. It was a need waiting to be fulfilled: India had little programming aimed at its nearly 450 million people in the 18 to 35 years people, a high spending demographic.
Since then, TVF has produces some high-quality content and popular shows like Pitchers, Permanent Roommates (2 seasons), Tripling, TVF Bachelors and tons of short videos.
In 2014, Google also backed TVF under a creator’s innovation program, giving them a reported $75,000 in funding. The next year, TVF launched its own streaming platform, TVFPlay.com, hosting more long-form content like TVF Pitchers, a series about four friends struggling to fund their startup that is ranked No 35 among top 250 TV series in the world); Tripling, about siblings on a road trip; and Permanent Roommates Season 2. Recently, they have released the second season of Tripling over SonyLiv and India’s first Black and White Educational Satire Web-Series Kota Factory.
Channels of TVF Network
As of April 2019, the TVF network has 7 YouTube channels with over Two Crore (20 million) total subscribers. Apart from their primary Youtube channel, TVF Network owns around some more Youtube Channels in their Kitty. Some of the major ones are:
TVF launched an all-female brand, Girliyapa, in late 2015. Girliyapa is headquartered at Andheri, Mumbai in the TVF Campus. Now it has over 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube.
The Screen Patti
TVF launched Screen Patti, now The Screen Patti, in 2015 for a younger audience. Now it has over 3.8 million subscribers on YouTube.
Funda Curry is an infotainment channel that is part of the TVF network. It creates videos and short sketches around Science, Politics, and News.
The Timeliners is a web series entertainment channel (with occasional random shorts) that is a part of the TVF network. It has around 5 million subscribers on YouTube.