Hindi movie genre finds a new contender

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 29, 2012
Cinema TV will telecast movies from the '70s and '80s, and newer movies during prime time. The channel claims to have the telecast rights of 800-900 movies.

Softline Creations, a content developer for TV and films, has launched a Hindi movie channel christened Cinema TV. The channel is available on Reliance and Videocon DTH platforms and will be expanded to cover other DTH and digital platforms in the next month. It will also be available with the local cable operators.

Hitesh Sabharwal

The free-to-air channel had a soft launch on May 4 and has now settled with the distribution and programming line up. Hitesh Sabharwal, who has earlier worked with Zee and BAG Films, has been roped in as CEO of Cinema TV.

Launched with the tagline 'Sahi Samay Sahi Movie', Cinema TV will telecast movies from the '70s and '80s, with more recent movies being aired during the prime time bands. Sabharwal says, "Our brand tagline is derived from the saying, 'Har cheez ka sahi waqt hota hai', which will relate the fact that every movie has an appropriate time to watch. Through our channel, we aim to bring the family together by catering to the tastes of each member through several genres of movies."

Comedian Raju Shrivastav is the brand ambassador of Cinema TV. The channel will be promoted heavily on all platforms. Though the complete promotion plans are not disclosed yet, it has already started airing ads on some of the regional channels.

"The core strategy of the channel is to strengthen content and distribution. We will also undertake a brand campaign across conventional media such as print, TV, cinema and outdoors to promote our channel," says Sabharwal.

The channel claims to have the telecast rights of 800-900 movies. It is learnt that a significant portion of this is retro movies. As per market standards, the kind of library that the channel claims would cost about a lakh rupees for a single movie. Though it refused to comment on the costs, the estimated total investment on retro movie content adds up to about Rs 20-25 crore, with additional higher costs of comparatively new titles such as Don, Swami, Murder and Rang De Basanti. It is currently in an acquisition mode and newer titles are expected to come in within a couple of weeks.

Generally, movie channels have an approximate acquisition budget of about Rs 200 crore; evidently, Cinema TV expects to cash in on cheaper content. It must be noted that the acquired titles contain some dubbed movies from the South. Industry insiders unanimously agree that dubbed content is rated very high on movie channels.

The channel has planned the line up in a manner such that it will telecast the blockbuster movies during the prime time. It will not have any dubbed content from English movies - not even animation. However, it has a couple of Indian animated movies in its library.

The free to air channel will largely depend on advertising for revenue. Having said this, sources reveal that Cinema TV may have an ad rate of about Rs 2,500 per 10-seconder. It is said to be in talks with some brands for advertising.

Softline Creations claims that it has launched Cinema TV to celebrate the completion of 100 years of Indian cinema. It also plans to launch regional movie channels, once Cinema TV finds a strong foothold in the market.

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