Sports channel to telecast movies even as GECs pad up with cricket

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing
Last updated : April 28, 2006
Sports channel TEN Sports plans too woo its sports audience by telecasting 'sports movies' on prime time every week, starting today

This is

called survival strategy. While the general entertainment and movie channels are looking for a larger share of viewership by adding cricket to their content, sports channels such as Ten Sports are left with no option but to go in for movies.

Form April 28, the channel will air movies every Friday at 8.00 pm with a repeat telecast at 10.30 am on Sundays.

This new programme is called 'Pepsi Playtime TV - the sports movie festival'. However please do not confuse it with Pepsi TV, which the cola giant has been talking about in its ads.

Besides Pepsi the other sponsors are Motorola, HP, Maruti, P & G, and Reliance Infocomm. The channel has tied up with Buena Vista for the library of movies. This new programme will kick off with the movie titled 'Remember the Titans' and promises other celebrated Hollywood movies such as, 'He Got Game', 'Color of Money', 'The Air Up There' and 'The Rookie' in the weeks ahead.

Talking about this innovation on Ten Sports, Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj Television Limited, says, "This new programme has been developed in association with Pepsi and Mindshare with a view to provide complete sports entertainment to our viewers."

"Considering that Indians are passionate about movies and sports, this powerful combination will hit off well," he adds.

Talking about the marketing strategy involved in the conception of this idea, Rakesh Rao director, marketing and communications, Ten Sports, says, "We wanted to explore new realms in the sports genre and what better way than this? The fact that our sponsors readily agreed to be a part of this initiative suggests that the idea is exciting."

The channel plans to continue this concept for a while now and talks are on with other movie companies abroad.

Will this dynamic mix of sports and sports-based movies elevate the TVRs for Ten Sports? agencyfaqs! spoke to a few media planners to get their view on the workability of this concept and its impact on the channel's ratings.

"It's a brilliant step towards the future. In India, we are crazy about sports and anything revolving around the same, be it live action or movies, and that's why we'll be for it. It's time people align themselves around choices and interests of the audience apart from demography and geography. I am sure this will engage a lot of audiences but may not get huge exposure, which means it might not attract high ratings," says Manish Porwal, executive director, Starcom.

"Sports movies… it's a phenomenal idea. Its success will depend on the titles also. But what remains to be seen is that how long will they sustain? How many sports movies are there anyway?" enquires Shashi Sinha, president, Lodestar Media.

Punitha Arumugam, group CEO, Madision opines, "Although it seems to be an interesting idea in terms of Ten Sports looking at various options in the genre of sports, in a way it is broadening competition. Why would somebody watch movies on Ten Sports? There are so many English movie channels which air such kind of movies often. Lack of uniqueness in this new programme might be a hurdle for them."

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

First Published : April 28, 2006
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© 2006 agencyfaqs!