History is & #BANNER1 & # not just about informing, it's about informing and entertaining. This is the mantra which The History Channel seems to be following these days.
The channel is betting high on its thematic movies and the forthcoming India-centric movie line-up to make its programming more entertaining. Some of the new movies that the channel will air this month are 'In His Life: John Lennon', 'Marilyn & Me', 'Hefner' and 'The Perfect Tribute'. These movies will be aired in the Double F segment on the channel in the prime-time slot of 9pm every Friday.
Other movies that will be aired this quarter are 'The Perfect Twist', 'Kane & Abel', 'Attila the Hun', 'Helen of Troy', 'Rocky Marciano', 'Archangel', 'First Olympics' and 'Kennedy'.
The History Channel will also air a set of biographies soon. These include the biographies of Henry VIII, Pope John Paul II, Ariel Sharon, Mother Teresa, Paula Jones and Adolf Hitler. The channel is in the process of procuring new titles such as 'Al Qaeda', 'Oskar Schindler', 'Charles Dickens', 'Hercules' and 'Rudyard Kipling'.
With these new movies, the channel wants to re-position itself as an entertainment channel and broaden its audience base. To further achieve this, it will feature India-centric content in the month of August 2006 in time for the Indian Independence Day on August 15.
"We will air relevant biographies such as Gandhi and other shows centred on the freedom struggle and the war of independence," says Joy Bhattacharjya, senior vice-president, programming, The History Channel. Bhattacharjya says that the channel will feature a documentary on the Mughals some time in November 2006.
On the marketing front, the channel will continue to reach out to its target group and also target new audiences. Rajesh Sheshadri, vice-president, marketing, The History Channel, explains, "We have a select target audience and we have identified catchment areas to reach out to them. We will have clippings of the movies playing on select websites. We will also plant jumbo screens in malls with high footfalls in the metros and have strategic tie-ups with stores like Oxford Book Store and rental chains like Lamhe in New Delhi, which are frequented by our target group."
The channel claims to have increased its reach by 30 per cent and doubled the time spent in the past two months. Its officials say that the walk-ins on their website have increased by 350 per cent.
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