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UTV to launch a Hindi action movie channel on January 1, 2010

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 23, 2009
The new channel will be called UTV Action and it will air dubbed Hollywood movies apart from Hindi action films

UTV Global Broadcasting is all set to bring in some New Year cheer for audiences and advertisers alike, by rolling out an action movie channel. Called UTV Action, the channel will be rolled out on January 1, 2010.

Following the launch of UTV Action, the company will pull the curtains down on its existing movie channel UTV Bindass Movies, which was launched two years back. The movie channel will showcase fast-paced and high-octane Hollywood movies, dubbed in Hindi. Alongside, some of the latest action movies from Bollywood will also be broadcast.

& #BANNER1 & #Speaking to afaqs!, MK Anand, chief executive officer, UTV Global Broadcasting, says, "Analysis of performance of what works better with the audience within the movie space indicates that it's action flicks that are popular and deliver better, in comparison to comedy or romance. With the movie business getting bigger and with the market maturing; the generic movie platform will have to pave the way for genre-specific offerings. And the best opportunity and prospectus in such a scenario lay within the action genre."

Also, dubbed Hollywood hits, such as Avatar and Spiderman, drive home the truth that the genre has universal appeal.

Anand points out that the decision to launch an action movie channel also made sense, because when it comes to sourcing content, UTV is well placed with a strong movie library, courtesy its two existing offerings, UTV Movies and UTV Bindass Movies.

The channel is hopeful of clocking almost 30 GRPs in the first quarter and achieving a break-even in the first year. On the distribution front, the broadcaster is clearly eying C&S 4+ audience, and claims to be present in equal measure in all the TAM markets.

At the same time, the channel head explains that given the genre of the channel, it would be skewed towards male audience in the age group of 15 years and above. As a result, UTV is targeting TAM C&S A and B towns, with population of more than 1 million.

In the first month of its launch, UTV Action will showcase 15 titles, comprising Men in Black, Black Hawk Down, End of Days, Bad Boys - II, Grudge, Vertical Limit, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Desperado, Godzilla, Blade, Ab Tak Chappan, Border, Chandni Chowk to China, Race and Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl.

Without sharing the investment pumped into the channel or revealing the cost of acquiring Hollywood and Hindi movie titles, Anand informs that the company enjoys good business relations with all the top Hollywood Studios, and will continue to acquire new titles with a window period of 18 to 24 months. For getting the rights for Bollywood hits, he sees no major change in the company's existing relationship and terms of business with the vendors.

On the advertising front, UTV Action is expected to draw both audiences and advertisers largely from news and sports genres. The channel claims to be one of its kind, having embraced action as a genre, and expects to find its own ground among the other Hindi movie channels, including SET Max, STAR Gold, Zee Cinema, Filmy, as well as UTV Movies and UTV Bindass Movies.

UTV is promoting the channel with a three-week marketing campaign, which will be kick started in January itself, with the launch of the channel. The communication message in the entire advertising campaign is based on the theme, Be Prepared, which urges viewers to get ready for an action-packed adventure. The campaign has been conceptualised by TapRoot India.

In addition to promoting the channel extensively on its own network, the broadcaster has booked as many as 3,500 (10-second) ad-spots on 20 other channels, across multiple genres. It has also taken up 300 outdoor sites across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

Besides the media blitzkrieg announcing the launch of UTV Action, the channel is getting into a five- city hunt for the best freestyle footballer from India, who will be sent to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, as part of a talent hunt called Red Bull Street Style.

In an attempt to reach out to the trade fraternity, UTV Action is getting into an Action Weekend activity, where it will offer lucky winners the opportunity of skydiving in a foreign location.

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