UTV Action to speak Telugu from June 26

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | June 23, 2011
Christened UTV Action Telugu, the pay channel will target the C&S15+ audience set, and will showcase Telugu premiers of blockbuster Hollywood movies released last year, within three months of their Indian television premier.

UTV Action, which until now showcased Hollywood-action movies dubbed in Hindi, is now gearing up to speak a new language.

UTV Entertainment Television Ltd (UETL) will launch the channel in Telugu in an attempt to tap into the Andhra Pradesh market. Christened UTV Action Telugu, the channel will be launched on June 26, and will target the C&S15+ audience set. It will showcase Telugu premiers of blockbuster Hollywood movies released last year within three months of their Indian television premiers.

Speaking to afaqs! about UTV Action Telugu's programming strategy, Sameer Ganapathy, UTV Action Telugu business head, says, "We plan to launch with 250 Hollywood action-packed blockbusters for the first year and would then gradually increase the number, depending upon viewing pattern and changing trends."

But, why the need of an action movie channel in Telugu?
The English speaking population is in abundance in Andhra Pradesh where Telugu is the second-most preferred language of release for Hollywood action films in India. Therefore, with a very strong affinity for local cinema and other regional entertainment media, the local lan guage is far more popular than any other language, observes Ganapathy.

"Add to that, action as a genre, cuts across all barriers and appeals to all kinds of audiences. Thus, it was but natural to mix the same and present the same to the audience in that region. UTV Action Telugu, just like UTV Action Hindi, will be a far bigger channel than English channels -- whose reach and numbers are lower. The channel will show movies as fast and as recent as any other English channel, he says.

For the record, the channel library will include blockbusters such as Karate Kid, Spiderman, Kung Fu Hustle, XXX, Men in Black, Hancock, Ultraviolet, Underworld: Evolution, A Perfect Getaway, Bad Boys II, Vertigo, National Security, and Salt.

The pay channel intends to have a high intensity marketing plan to ensure optimum visibility across platforms including television and outdoor, along with an on-ground activation plan.

The campaign will tap a mix of news, movies and music channels across the state, and will also tie up with local cable networks to create buzz, consuming approximate 1 million secondages to promote at the time of launch.

"We have booked hoardings across four key cities in Andhra Pradesh in order to grab maximum eyeballs. The channel is also associating with almost all possible single-screen theatres in over 25 cities and multiplexes across key markets like Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijaywada," says Ganapathy.

In addition, UTV Action Telugu will have print insertions in local newspapers. The channel will also tie up with a number of electronic retail stores in Hyderabad to air promos of the channel across displayed television screens.

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