Life is on the fast forward mode at INX Media. The Board of Directors of INX Media on November 5 proposed the appointment of Peter Mukerjea as Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. The Board appointed Indrani Mukerjea as CEO of the company. Indrani will be reporting to the Chairman and Board of Directors of the company.
The Board of INX Media said, “This decision has been taken in recognition of the efforts of INX team under the guidance of Peter and Indrani, which has resulted in our being able to achieve in the record time of under eight months the launch of two channels – the Hindi Music Channel, 9XM, and the Hindi GEC, 9X.”
Reacting to the Board’s decision, Indrani said, “I am honoured by the recognition of the Board. The fact that we have been able to launch 9XM and 9X in good time without making any compromise on our mission of providing world class quality is something that would not have been possible without the support of the entire team at INX Media and, in particular, the inspiration and expertise that Peter provides.”
The 9X content line-up
The primetime on 9X from day one, that is, November 12, 2007, would include two Ekta Kapoor drama series – ‘Kahe Naa Kahe’ in the 9.00 pm slot, and ‘Kya Dill Mein Hai’ in the 9.30 pm slot. Smriti Irani’s family drama ‘Mere Apne’ will follow in the 10.00 pm slot. The series marks the TV debut of Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna.
Every night Monday to Thursday at 10.30 pm, 9X will bring its viewers a daily dose of comedy with four weekly shows – ‘Remote Control’ on Mondays; ‘Babban Bhai v/s Bimla Tai’ on Tuesdays; ‘Jamegi Jodi.com’ on Wednesdays and ‘Dhak Dhakk in Dubai’ on Thursdays. “The idea of having a comedy show at 10.30 pm is to make sure our viewers end their day on a cheerful and relaxed note,” Indrani explained.
From November 19, primetime will get bigger on 9X, as the channel launches ‘Jiya Jale’, produced by Siddhartha Basu. The show will be aired in the 8.30 pm slot from Monday to Thursday. Mukerjea said, “We are slotting ‘Jiya Jale’ at 8.30 pm because it is a family-based show. We hope it will act as the glue that brings the family together in front of the television and take the 8.30 pm slot into the ambit of prime time viewing.”
Mukerjea further informed, “We have invested in world class content not just for prime time, but also for other slots, including afternoon and morning. From January 14, 2008, 9X viewers can look forward to a very special afternoon band. It will air original dramas and lifestyle shows.” The channel will also house a kids’ band called ‘Gen 9X’.
All shows on the channel, with the exception of ‘Mission Ustaad’, are fiction. It is known that Kumud Chowdhary is spearheading fiction content for the channel.
The channel will also air movies and some of the titles lined up include ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’, ‘Jaan-e-man’, the under-production ‘Mission Istanbul’, ‘Cheeni Kum’, ‘Omkara’, ‘Eklavya’, ‘Parineeta’, ‘Partner’, ‘Namaste London’, ‘Golmaal’, ‘Baghban’, ‘Waqt’, ‘Kaho Naa… Pyar Hai’, ‘Viraasat’, and ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’, among others. The movies will air on Saturdays and Sundays at 8 pm, as well as 5 pm on Sundays.
The non-fiction line-up on 9X includes reality shows, including ‘Mission Ustaad’. There will also be a morning show, ‘Good Morning Zindagi’, which will air Monday to Friday at 8.30 am. 9X has also planned events. One of the first is ‘Dhamaal Express’, which would be aired on November 17, 2007 at 8 pm. It features 20 TV superstars in an innovative show based on high-energy live performances set to especially created songs. Non-fiction programming on 9X will also feature unique game shows as well as talk shows.
“India has seen remarkable change in the past couple of decades, and it isn’t surprising that viewer sensibilities and needs have changed with the times. Our effort is to offer entertainment that will touch the heart of India, today and everyday.” said Indrani.
“Our endeavour is to create sustained and long-term value for all our stakeholders, including viewers, investors, employees, advertisers, cable operators and other partners. The launch of 9X is the first giant step in that direction,” she added.
9X will also be a Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) service, a satellite-based platform for delivering multi-channel television signals to cable operators across the country. Its broadcast would be based on the MPEG4 format and is completely HDTV-ready in order to cater to the expanding technology platforms in India. Beamed from the Insat-4A satellite in a free-to-air format, 9X will be available across all television delivery platforms, including cable, TV, DTH and IPTV.