The Oscars are here again and movie channels are all set to make sure they are making the maximum of the event. The objective is two-fold for the channels. One to live up to the promise of giving viewers a wholesome Hollywood experience and second to give the viewership numbers a little boost.
For STAR India, the property is important all the more, given the fact that STAR Movies has the exclusive telecast rights for the event for the next six years. STAR spokesperson explains that the complete channel has been given the Oscar feel. The spokesperson of the channel says, "Everything has been given the Oscar look and feel. The prime objective of this all is that we are giving our viewers a complete Hollywood experience and this is a part of this."
The channel has 'Oscar fever' running all month, where an Oscar nominated movie plays everyday after the 9.00 pm movie, "Until last year, we did a Monday to Friday, but this year we are doing it for the entire week," informs the spokesperson. STAR Movies is selling its Oscar related programming at a premium.
HBO is celebrating the Oscar month with '28 nights of cinematic excellence'. "HBO was the first English movie channel to extend the Oscar experience to an entire month," says Shruti Bajpai, Country Head, HBO. "We introduced the concept of celebrating the Oscar month by bringing to its viewers, a flavour of the sheer cinematic brilliance of the Oscars. And it was so well received by both viewers and advertisers that we had our competitors emulating our Oscar festival themes. Imitation, they say, is the best form of flattery!" The channel is showing Oscar nominated movies after its primetime movie everyday.
Zee Movie Zone has the Oscar Movie Zone for its viewers. The channel has lined up movies like 'Gangs of New York', 'Chicago' and 'Monster', which is also the movie of the month, and so on for its viewers. For ZMZ, the experience doesn't mean an increase in viewership but a change in the kind of viewership, "The analysis we have done for 2003 and 2004 doesn't show an increase but the quality of the eyeballs is on the upward side," says Ajay Trigunayat, Business Head, ZMZ.
Sharing more on the reason behind the programming, he says, "This is a fad that has caught on and you are riding. Besides, Oscar is the buzzword in the February month and it makes sense to have your movies close to the Oscar date."
For Oscars, clearly the channel has more expectations on the qualitative front than quantitative. "Numbers is just one part of the deal," the STAR spokesperson, "This initiative is more to build the connect with the viewer."
"HBO prides itself in bringing to its viewers a kaleidoscope of different thematic offerings," says Bajpai, "Celebrating Oscars month is just one of the many innovations tailor-made by HBO for its audience. Having a strategy that brings to the viewers, the latest and the biggest blockbusters, quality original productions and pioneering innovations is the key to HBO's success among the English Movie Channels."
The line-up on each channel at least ensures that the Indian viewer has his fill and more of internationally acclaimed movies.