UTV Movies acquires 250 titles; earmarks Rs 300 mn for channel promotion

UTV Movies, the Hindi movie channel from UTV Global Broadcasting which started beaming on 24 February, has acquired 250 titles and will be investing Rs 300 million for the launch campaign.Earlier UTV Software Communications CEO Ronnie Screwvala had told Indiantelevision.com that the peak funding requirement for the Hindi movie channel would be Rs 2.5 billion.

UTV is betting on contemporary titles. “90 per cent of the films in our library are less than 5 years old,” said UTV Global Broadcasting Ltd executive director Shantonu Aditya.

Some of the titles the channel has acquired include Halla Bol and Aap Ka Suroor.

In addition, the channel will also leverage the in-house films produced by UTV Motion Pictures. Goal, Hattrick and Life in a Metro are some of the movies released by UTV Motion Pictures last year.

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“We believe in the studio model which works well in Hollywood. With UTV Movies, we are introducing the same in India,” said Aditya.

When asked about the feasibility of launching another Hindi movie channel in a market where acquisition of movie prices has witnessed a considerable raise, Aditya said, “We have UTV Motion Pictures to provide us with latest titles and we will promote it aptly. Apart from that, the syndication model is taking good shape whch is there to stay. Zee has syndicated few titles to us which we will screen shortly. A movie channel is driven by titles, not audience loyalty.”

On weekdays, the channel has created a 2-pm slot for women. This will be followed by an evening slot called Cutting Chai at 5 pm. The 8:30 pm slot is called Paisa Vasool which will show latest films.

“Existing movie channels as well as GECs show big titles on weekends but we are taking a different route,” said Aditya.

To spice up the weekends, the channel will show English films dubbed in Hindi during prime time at 8:30 pm in the slot called Foreign Returned.

The other offerings from the channel include Bachcha Party slot on Sunday morning at 8 am for children. Titles like Hidden Fortress, Flying Snicker and Tony Tricker will be dubbed in Hindi and shown.

With regard to marketing campaigns, the channel has set aside Rs 300 millions for the launch promos which will span across all the Hindi speaking Tam markets.

“We first believe in getting our distribution in place and then in promoting the channel,” explained Aditya.

In order to to establish direct connect with the viewers, the campaign will be rolled out across various platforms including outdoor, radio cross-channel promos and the internet.

Airtel has been roped in as one of the advertisers on the channel.

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