Prachi Srivastava

"FX will now push advertising on the channel in a big way": Kevin Vaz

The channel has been focusing on content and programming so far, but will now look at more advertisements.

Riding high on the success of India-focused content, a shift it decided on in September 2012, FX has grown many folds over the past few months.

"FX will now push advertising on the channel in a big way": Kevin Vaz
"FX will now push advertising on the channel in a big way": Kevin Vaz
"FX will now push advertising on the channel in a big way": Kevin Vaz
The channel was launched in India as FX Asia (an Asian entertainment TV channel) in 2010, owned and produced by Fox International Channels and distributed by STAR TV. The FX (Asia) feed was replaced with FX India last year, and the strategy seems to have worked in favour of the channel.

While earlier, the same beam was aired across Asia, now the programming for Indian content is taken care of by the channel's team in India. The content team at FX India chooses and telecasts (international) shows that suit the Indian audiences.

As per TAM data (C&S, 15+, AB, all India 1 mn+) provided by the channel, FX rated an average of 26 GVTs (gross viewership in thousands) in September 2012, which has gone up to 1145 GVT in July 2013.

According to Kevin Vaz, business head, English channels, STAR Jalsha and Jalsha Movies, STAR India, the data over the past three-four months shows that 50 per cent viewers of the channel belong to SEC A and 72 per cent reside within the top four metros. "The second phase of digitisation has helped us in a big way," says Vaz.

FX India, which goes by the tagline 'the Edge of entertainment', reaches 2.8 million viewers in a month and 62% of these are males while 38% are females.

Vaz explains the thought behind the English GEC offerings of STAR. "STAR World is a channel that is focused towards holistic family entertainment. It has programmes that cater to both genders and is wider in appeal. FX on the other hand is a promise of content for the more evolved English audiences. The shows are edgier and channel profiling indicates preference for the channel amongst more affluent young urban male audiences. FX has an exciting content line up and in recent months has constantly been in the Top Programmes Chart in the category with Prison Break, The X Files and The Sons of Anarchy. Fox Crime brings a promise of crime, investigation and mystery bringing to you the best in global crime and investigation series."

"We are ready to take the channel to the next level, try and see if we can consolidate and remain at the top. Right through this season, as the festive season is just arriving, this is a mixed phase for FX," Vaz avers.

FX competes with other English GECs like Zee Café, AXN, Big CBS Prime, Comedy Central and Big CBS Love, apart from the channels in its own network. It airs three hours of original content on a weekday. It has been focusing on content and programming so far, but will now take a leap to another level and looks to increase advertising on the channel, Vaz tells afaqs!.

He says, "It is only now that we have started pushing advertising on the channel in a big way. We will get a lot more brands on board, more because of the strong performance backing it. FX is the fastest growth story."

The channel has also announced the launch of four new shows in the coming month. It will launch three shows on September 2, including 'The Killing', 'Spooks' and 'It's always Sunny in Philadelphia', that will be aired Monday to Friday at 9 pm, 10 pm and 11 pm, respectively. The fourth show, 'The West Wing', will replace Spooks and hit the screen on September 30.

The shows will replace 'The Simpsons' (Season 7), 'Episodes', 'Sons of Anarchy' (Season 4) and 'The Shield' (Season 4) which are currently aired at 9 pm, 9.30 pm, 10 pm and 11 pm, respectively. While, the other shows are going off-air, The Simpsons will move to 11.30 pm slot.

Killing Season 1 ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family and the suspects. The story also explores local politics. As it unfolds, it becomes clear that everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them.

In The West Wing, when the erudite Democrat Josiah "Jed" Bartlet is elected U.S. President, he installs his administration, and places confidants from his electoral campaigns in the White House. Each of these people play a significant role in the Washington power game, as do the assistants of each of the power players. The series supposedly follows the political events (often paraphrasing historical reality) and provides insights into many aspects of U.S. society and international politics.

Spooks (Seasons 3 and 4) is a British television drama series that follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service's Thames House headquarters, in a highly secure suite of offices known as The Grid.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1 to 8) features four egocentric friends who run a neighbourhood Irish pub in Philadelphia and try to find their way through the adult world of work and relationships.

The shows will be marketed heavily on the English channels of the STAR Network that include STAR Movies, STAR Movies HD, STAR Movies Action, Fox Traveller and National Geographic. The marketing will also be supported by a big noise digital campaign.

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