With the 74th Annual Academy Awards knocking on the door, channels have lined up a bonanza for viewers this month. Star Movies though has the official rights to screen the awards live, HBO not to be left behind is on a mega-movie screening binge to blunt Star''s advantage.
Viewers surely are not complaining, with blockbusters like Top Gun, God Father, to be screened day after day through the month.
Says James P. Marturano, Managing Director HBO South Asia, "Following the huge success of THE MUMMY this year, we now have a lethal combination of volume and quality to celebrate the Oscars®."
Consider this: HBO has lined up 32 movies that have won an astounding 33 Oscar® Awards and 123 OscarÒ Nominations! The screening will be done through March 2002 that will bring one Oscar®-winning and one Oscar®-nominated movie, every Monday to Friday night until the Awards night, with no repeats.
Star Movies apart from screening the event live also has Oscar Fever, a slot featuring Hollywood blockbusters and classics. The Oscar winning or nominated movies will be screened daily from March 1-24 in the late prime time slot (post 11:30 p.m) - that''s 24 Oscar blockbusters in a month.
So what would drive viewers and advertisers to these movies despite the fact that the movies are simply re-runs under a different branding.
Commenting on this initiative Shruti Bajpai, Director-Marketing,HBO says"Oscars is the largest event a far as the English movie viewers are concerned. The movies are to be shown for 16 days, the nominations and the Winner movies. Two movies every week. Its all-coming under one umbrella and that is what HBO is recognized for."
The movies will also be promoted heavily through a combination of Press, Radio and Theatre.
Advertisers like Asian Paints, Coke, Mirinda, Nokia and General Motors are associated with the screenings.
Coke, which has started its association with HBO for Oscars is enthused about the advantages from the packaging of the event, says CVL Srinivas, COO, North & South, Madisson.
Some advertisers are though not sure of the USP of Oscar branding. Says Nitin Jain, GM Mindshare, Delhi, "Its old wine in a new bottle. For Pepsi it''s a part of long term campaign hence we are present on the movie channels."
Given the excitement around the Oscars, viewer ship is certain to go up and the competition hotting up in the English movie genre, this surely will be an interesting time for channels and advertisers alike.