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Genre Check’11: Good Year for Eng Movies; Movies Now leads

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Genre Check’11: Good Year for Eng Movies; Movies Now leads

As the first half of 2011 comes to an end, exchange4media takes a look at the performance of the various genres on television in India, and which channels stayed on top of their game. Kicking off the series is the English movies genre that has given the industry quite a bit to talk about in the last few months. And the core reason for that is the success that newcomer Movies Now, from the Times Television Group stable, has seen since its launch.

The four key players in the space are Movies Now, Star Movies, HBO and Pix. Zee Studio, WB and UTV World Movies are the other three English movie channels in India.

Growth Story for Top Players
According to TAM Media Research, for the TG of C&S 15+ in the one million plus markets, Movies Now has stayed on top of the ratings graph in 2011. Star Movies follows steadily on the number two spot, surging ahead on three occasions only. In this title-driven genre, most conversations have been around Movies Now’s ability to attract audiences despite following a library channel strategy – in other words, staying off big, new title premieres.

The channel’s packaging initiative, or as Ajay Trigunayat, Channel Head, Movies Now, puts it, its holistic approach with viewer at the centre, has worked well for the channel. Right from Rocky Reloaded or Shaolin Masters to the current X-Men offering, Movies Now is maintaining its market share.

Star Movies has seen a growth year too given that the channel has been increasing its share in the last few weeks of the first half of 2011. Once again, Star Movies is looking at reaching out to consumer, in innovative ways, with specific movie packaging to create appointment viewing – the recent Bond movie festival is one example. Saurabh Yagnik, General Manager & Senior VP, English Channels, STAR India had also highlighted the importance of the digital marketing of the channel, which he believed had added to the channel’s viewership in 2011.

Pix Surprises
The single instance that interrupted with Star Movies run was in week 23, when Pix surpassed the channel to claim the number two spot. Pix has proved to be another interesting story of the year, as the channel began to see a steady growth graph in the first six months of 2011.

In the last seven weeks, Pix has beaten HBO to take the number three spot in the genre. Pix too had entered the genre with a library channel programming strategy and later had added new titles to the mix too. Some media observers point out that Pix’ partnership with Sony Pictures in September 2010 had added to the channel’s movie library.

Pix’ climb to number three spot has more to do with the increase in its channel share than decrease in HBO’s.

While HBPO has not significantly added to its numbers in the year, which would have helped it in maintaining its market share, it has managed to sustain its individual channel share. But the second half of the year promises tough competition in the top tiers of English movie channels.

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