afaqs! news bureauPublished: 2 Aug 2013, 12:00 AM
Media

ZEEL announces new Hindi movie channel, '&pictures'

It is learnt that 70-80 per cent of the movies telecast on &pictures will be exclusive to the channel and the rest will be picked from the common ZEEL library.

The latest offering of Zee Entertainment Enterprises gave room for a lot of guesswork before it was finally announced by the network. With Zee Cinema, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Premiere, Zee Classic and Zee Action already in its kitty, ZEEL has now launched another Hindi movie channel, called '&pictures', by sending cookies and chocolates to all publications (a big smiley to that!).

ZEEL announces new Hindi movie channel, '&pictures'
ZEEL announces new Hindi movie channel, '&pictures'
The channel is being termed as an 'interactive movie channel'. Zee Cinema is positioned as a channel for popular Bollywood movies, while Zee Premier telecasts blockbusters in modern Indian cinema. Zee Classic has a strong library of Indian cinematic classics, whereas Zee Action focuses on the action genre. Overall, the network has over 4000 movie titles in its kitty.

Interestingly, the channel is expected to be full of Bollywood premieres for the first few months. To be launched in a month, &pictures has already acquired satellite rights for movies such as Chennai Express, Besharam, Ghanchakkar and Zanjeer.

Media reports suggest that Shahrukh Khan and Deepika-starrer Chennai Express could have cost about Rs 40 crore for the channel, in addition to the extra amount to be paid depending on the box office collection. It may be noted that in an earlier story, afaqs! had mentioned that the movie (Chennai Express) could be sold at anywhere close to Rs 55 lakh.

The Hindi movie genre, apart from ZEEL's four channels, consists of four other channels, including SET Max (from the MSM stable), STAR Gold and Movies OK (from STAR India) and UTV Movies (from Disney UTV).

It is learnt that 70-80 per cent of the movies telecast on &pictures will be exclusive to the channel and the rest will be picked from the common ZEEL library.

Ashish Sehgal, chief sales officer, ZEEL tells that a teaser campaign is running on the network channels, with the '&' sign being displayed on the corner of the screen. About ad-sales of the channel, he adds, "The channel will have an independent sales team; however, the network synergies always help for a big network like ours."