Move over IPL, HPL is here

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 19, 2009
Movie channel HBO has launched a new property, under which Hollywood blockbusters will be premiered

Even as the fate of the second season of the Indian Premier League remains unclear, HBO has announced its own league - the Hollywood Premiere League (HPL), a 90-day property that will air Hollywood box office hits everyday, most of them premieres.

The HPL will begin from April 1, with movies being aired every night at 11. Some of the movies are Vantage Point, Rush Hour 3, The Invasion, Transformers and The Bourne Ultimatum. "We have handpicked a mix of Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed movies," says Shruti Bajpai, country manager, HBO Asia.

The channel's prime viewership is garnered in the 9 PM and 11 PM slots. This property will come right after the IPL match telecast ends; so, where IPL stops, HPL will begin.

HBO is treating this as a big property, encashing on the popularity that IPL enjoys. To promote the property, the channel has lined up a marketing communication idea that revolves around sports. A television commercial - which will run on all Turner channels and a few English news and business channels, a multi-city print campaign and advertisements on websites and trade publications will be employed. The theme of the campaign will be that of HPL as a sporting event, but the sportspersons will be replaced by Hollywood actors.

"It's a smart way of promoting our property and leveraging the euphoria around sports. It has a tongue-in-cheek reference to IPL," Bajpai says. One of the headlines in the print ad says, "Watch the superstars take the field every night." HBO is also looking at exploring innovative options on the sports pages during IPL. A 10-day, multi-city activity across various radio channels will be carried out, with two radio stations per city. A new campaign will be launched in the second phase in May.

The channel has roped in nine sponsors for HPL, of which Airtel DTH and Appy Fizz are the co-presenting sponsors.

© 2009 afaqs!