Sony Pictures Networks India launches HD English movie channel Le PLEX

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 24, 2016
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The Network has roped in Zoya Akhtar as community ambassador.

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) further strengthens its position in the English cluster with the launch of Sony Le PLEX, a high-definition English movie channel.

Zoya Akhtar and Saurabh Yagnik at the launch of Sony Le PLEX HD

The channel went live on August 23, 2016, with the proposition to serve audiences who seek entertainment beyond mainstream Hollywood movies.

The channel plans to give a multiplex experience to viewers and that is why PLEX is there in the name, while Le signifies its one-of-a-kind nature, informs Saurabh Yagnik, EVP and business head, English cluster, Sony Pictures Networks India.

The Group has roped in film maker Zoya Akhtar as the community ambassador who will be seen in all the marketing campaigns. She will share her opinion and expert comments on various aspects during the premieres, as well as in wrap-around shows. "(Zoya) Akhtar has carved her own niche, as is evident from the movies she's made until now. The idea is to build a brand; we have good movies, but to make it a brand we need to have conversation happening around it. Akhtar will drive that conversation," says Yagnik.

Courtesy the strategic deals with several international studios in Hollywood that SPN has in place, Sony Le PLEX will have a library of over 400 movie titles. In the Le Premiere slot, Sony Le PLEX HD will showcase Indian television premieres of movies such as Spotlight, Ex-Machina, Foxcatcher, and Straight Outta Compton, as well as air critically acclaimed films such as Schindler's List, Gladiator, and Philadelphia. "Fifty four weeks will see 54 new premieres, with one every Sunday," says Yagnik.

The channel will market itself aggressively in the top six metros. "We will use our HD network for promotion on television, followed by print and digital, with more focus on the latter as that's where lies our target audience," asserts Yagnik.

The channel has roped in Leo Burnett as its creative agency which will take care of the entire creative execution.

Yagnik, who is eyeing seven million HD households for the channel, expects substantial subscription revenue through it. "For a channel like this, the ad revenue-subscription revenue proposition would be 50-50, and we would like to bring it to that shape. Right now, the English movie category would be 60-40 with 60 per cent as ad revenue and 40 per cent as subscription," he says.

According to Yagnik, the market for non-mainstream cinema is currently under-served in our country and Sony Le PLEX HD aims to address that and own the segment. The channel will not only showcase critically acclaimed films, but also build an ambience around them in a way that enables great conversations and helps create a common ground for people to build a community of quality movie lovers," concludes Yagnik.

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