Max strengthens movie inventory

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 02, 2013
The channel is learnt to have spent close to Rs 250 crore on the latest acquisitions (to be paid over a period of time), though the channel spokesperson chose to remain silent on the details.

SET Max, the Hindi movie channel from Multi Screen Media (MSM), has loaded its library with movies to fill the gap left by the conclusion of Indian Premier League's sixth season. Like every year, barring the 90-day period when the IPL goes on, the channel remains No. 1 in the Hindi movies space. The sports event gives the channel a very strong standing, although the genre of content changes for the duration of the IPL.

Aashiqui 2

Ek Thi Daayan

Neeraj Vyas

In the recent season of the sports event, IPL 6, there were 76 matches which accounted for over 350 hours of content spread across about seven weeks (from April, 2, 2013 to May, 26, 2013). Neeraj Vyas, senior VP and business head, SET Max informs that the channel generally telecasts about six movies a day. However, with IPL on, the channel has accommodated three movies on the days that had two matches; while on the days of single matches, it telecast four movies.

SET Max has acquired a fresh library of more than 10 movies recently; the latest to be premiered is Ashique 2. The other acquired movies are Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Part Two, Ek Thi Daayan, Gippi, Shootout at Wadaala, Krrish 3, Aurangzeb, Raaz 3 and Lootera. These movies are bought for a period of about one to three years with exclusive telecast rights.

Vyas reveals that the network has a good relationship with Yash Raj Films and expects good deals from the production house, though nothing is materialised yet.

For the record, the Yash Raj banner has a few big releases lined up in the near future, which include Dhoom 3 and Shuddh Desi Romance.

Though Vyas chose to remain silent on the details, the channel is learnt to have spent close to Rs 250 crore (to be paid over a period of time) on the latest acquisitions, along with a few recent premieres that include Paan Singh Tomar and Rowdy Rathore. As per the market sources, Rowdy Rathore and Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani were bought for more than Rs 40 crore, each. Krrish 3, slated to be released in theatres in November, is reportedly bought for about Rs 28 crore. Lootera and Shootout at Wadaalaa cost the channel close to Rs 22 core, each; whereas for Once Upon a Time in Mumbai 2, Raaz 3 and Gippi, the network had to spend somewhere around Rs 7-10 crore. Paan Singh Tomar was sold to the network at Rs 12-15 crore; while Aurangzeb cost the network about Rs 33 crore.

The recent tie up of MSM with Eros International may prove to be beneficial for the network, as Raaz 3 (an Eros production) is open for further negotiations.

For the record, the sources inform that the Shahrukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express is being offered to the broadcasters at over Rs 55 crore, though the deal is yet to be finalised as none of the broadcasters have agreed.

SET Max has come up with an innovative content promotion activity, wherein it has tied up with a few production houses. Under this campaign, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone promoted the content line-up of the channel in May. For the promotion of the June content line-up, the channel has got on-board Ranvir Singh and Sonakshi Sinha. The audience will see the cast of Shootout at Wadaalaa, next on the channel.

While the channel has bought mostly high-budget movies, Vyas refused to divulge any financial estimates. Acquisition costs for recent movies range anywhere between Rs 5 crore and Rs 50 crore. Most of the movies acquired by the channel are estimated to be over Rs 25-30 crore.

Vyas says, "No matter how much these movies cost, largely it takes at least four to five years to amortise the investments, mainly because the sales trading levels are very low as compared to the Hindi GECs. That's why the movies now-a-days are mostly premiered on the GEC, Sony."

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