HBO Asia and Eros International are all set to launch two new premium advertising-free movie channels – HBO Defined and HBO Hits – in India. The two channels, which are scheduled to go on air early next year, will be available in both HD and SD at an average subscription rate of Rs 100 per month for both the channels. This collaboration between the two entertainment companies will bring the best of Hollywood and Bollywood together with an aim to redefine the pay TV movie space in India.
Commenting on the alliance, Jonathan Spink, CEO, HBO Asia stated, “The opportunity to work with Eros, which has such a visibly dominant presence in the Indian film and entertainment arena, is tremendous and together we will aim to deliver a first class cinema experience in the comfort of your home, 100 per cent advertising free.”
This alliance will also provide for the development of both HBO’s existing formats for India and the creation of original content for the Indian television market and international distribution. In terms of investment, the channel would be 100 per cent HBO and the alliance with Eros will be a programming collaboration.
According to Kishore Lulla, Executive Chairman, Eros International, investments include the cost incurred for setting up of the channels as well as marketing costs. “We are trying to take advantage of the huge library of content of both HBO and Eros and sharing them with the viewers. The profit would be shared 50-50 by both HBO and Eros,” he added.
Elaborating on the content strategy for the channels, Spink informed, “The two channels would provide the viewers with a far greater choice in terms of different genres of movie titles. Also, through this we want to encourage our target audience to obtain two channels at the price of one. For example, if it’s Rs 90 for one, then one can get two channels at a price of about Rs 100, which would be much better. Also, this alliance would help us develop lots of original and exclusive content for the Indian audience.”
HBO Hits is targeted at the modern movie fan. The channel would provide viewers with genre driven anchors and HBO Original series. It would also feature Bollywood movies from Eros International premiering for the first time on Indian television, straight after its theatrical run. Apart from action and adventure, the channel will also feature a range of other genres, such as thriller, horror, sci-fi, crime and suspense programmes.
HBO Defined is aimed at music lovers and would feature Bollywood movies from Eros International premiering for the first time on Indian television, straight after its theatrical run. The channel would deliver movies to India first through exclusive output licensing deals with major Hollywood studios and premiering movies closer to US air dates.