Anushree Bhattacharyya

Sony Pix to complete five years in India; eyes 30 per cent share in 2011-12

English movie channel Sony Pix will complete five years of operation in April 2011. The channel changes positioning to 'Hollywood is here'.

Sony Pix, the English movie channel promoted by Multi Screen Media, aims to increase its market share in the English movie genre to 30 per cent in the fiscal year 2011-12 (from the existing share of 20 per cent). The channel completes five years of operation in India in April 2011.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sunder Aaron, executive vice-president and business head, Sony Pix, says, "The year 2011 will be very significant for us as we will complete five years in India in April. We aim to increase our market share to 30 per cent in the next fiscal."

Sony Pix to complete five years in India; eyes 30 per cent share in 2011-12
The channel started out mainly with library films and today, has gradually transformed and now also telecasts current blockbusters. Keeping the transition in mind, Sony Pix will be changing its positioning in the next year to 'Hollywood is here'. According to Aaron, while the channel has retained its brand identity, which is about how valuable story telling is, in 2011, Sony Pix will promote the notion, 'Hollywood is here'.

As for programming, the channel will definitely cash on its recent content output deal with Sony Pictures and NBA games, which will be aired every Thursday and Saturday morning.

Clearing the air on the reason behind an English movie channel telecasting sports, Aron explains, "It is true that of late, Sony Pix has been showing different kinds of content such as FA Cup and now, NBA. However, the reason here is that viewers for these shows remain the same. Also, in this case, the placement of the programme matters. In the case of NBA, the games are aired in the early morning, when usually the channel does not have a high viewership. So, through these shows, we are able to attract eyeballs."

Meanwhile, the channel claims that from 2011, Sony Pix will telecast 10 exclusive Indian TV premiers every month and some of the movies which will be aired are Book of Eli; Armoured; Salt; Karate Kid; Eat, Pray, Love; and Social Network, amongst various others.

Additionally, the channel is concentrating on showing original programmes as it plans to re-introduce its reality show, Gateway, with a brand new concept.

With an array of programming line up, the channel is also looking at expanding its target audience from the present 18-44 years, SEC A and B, to a younger audience base. Aaron opines that sports such as NBA and FA Cup and reality shows such as Gateway attract a lot of youngsters, further providing an opportunity to expand the target group (TG).

With movie channels gearing up for tough competition, it's good news for movie buffs.

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