Max, launched in 1999 as a cricket and movie channel, is poised to change gears and dish out only premium movies post-ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. Max has ICC cricket match telecast rights only till the upcoming World Cup. Sneha Rajani, Business Head, Max, talks about the channel’s plans for the World Cup, and positioning Max as a premium movie channel.
Talking about the channel, Rajani said, “From 1999 to 2006, it has been a tremendous rise for Max. Taking into context that there are around 300-plus channels in the marketplace, Max is among the top three or four channels.”
Elaborating on the channel’s cricket endeavours, Rajani said, “Cricket on Max delivers. We garnered high ratings even for non-India matches during the recently held ICC Champions Trophy. Both the properties – ICC Champions Trophy 2006 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 – are sold-out properties.”
Commenting on the channel’s cricket property ‘Extraa Innings’, Rajani added, “This year we will try to capture the spirit of cricket in West Indies – the way it is played and viewed in that country with palms, beaches and so on through the show.”
“Post-World Cup 2007, the channel will be a devoted premium movies channel,” said Rajani, adding, “We were anyways planning to move cricket away from Max post-2007. As a premium movies channel, we will showcase some of the best movies released over the years.”
Speaking on the content expected on the channel, Rajani said that movie titles like ‘Fanaa’, ‘36 China Town’, ‘Omkara’, and ‘Jaan-e-Mann’ would be aired. She also mentioned about the easy marketability of movies that were not highly successful in theatres as chances were more that people might not have watched these movies in theatres.
Rajani further said, “Dubbed Hollywood movies are one of the biggest draws for the channel. So, we will continue to work with it and might even increase the number of slots and are sure that we will have some of the best movies coming your way in 2007.”
Regarding the targets for Max in the New Year, Rajani said, “In 2007, our marketing will focus more on directly touching the end consumer, for which we will have more interactivity promotions. We have ended the year 2006 as the No. 1 movie channel; No. 3 channel over all; and for 2007, what we intend to do is to consolidate and strengthen that position to widen the gap between the top channels.”