V&S Broadcasting, an affiliate of UTV Broadcasting, launched its Hindi movie channel UTV Movies on February 24, 2008. The channel plans to embark on an aggressive marketing campaign from the first week of March and has earmarked Rs 30 crore for media spends. Following a multi-agency pitch, RK Swamy BBDO and MPG have been appointed as AORs for the channel.
Confirming the developments, Shantonu Aditya, CEO, V&S Broadcasting, explained, “We have planned an extensive marketing campaign for the channel, which will break in the first week of March. Since the channel has just been launched, we intend to give it two more weeks to put in place a proper distribution network for the channel. The campaign will include ATL and BTL activities such as outdoor, print and television mediums.”
According to Aditya, the movie genre was growing unlike the GECs, because today the viewer’s tastes were changing. “GECs have come down to 30 per cent of total viewership, which means two people out of three are not watching the daily soaps. Also, as people are now buying their second and third TV sets, the special interest market is becoming bigger,” he further said.
“We are now building the UTV network and we have already launched four channels. We believe that the international model, which is essentially big studios launching their own television channels, is something which the Indian market is ready to replicate. UTV Motion Pictures being the biggest Bollywood studio, it is only appropriate that we look at launching our own movie channel,” Aditya added.
He continued, “The library includes not just UTV’s in-house productions, but also recently acquired big titles like ‘Aap Ka Suroor’, ‘Halla bol’, ‘Jab We Met’, and many more from other production houses. The channel has a collection of 250 titles already in its library.” This year, UTV Motion Pictures have got 19 releases lined up.
On the new channel’s USP, Aditya claimed, “UTV Movies is probably the only channel that essentially will have a ‘Direct Viewer Connect’. A viewer does not watch a movie on television for the entire three hours. They are more interested in specific scenes, dialogues or a song. As per our research, viewers view only 18 minutes of a movie on an average. In UTV Movies, viewers will be seen talking about a specific scene or dialogues they liked or intend to watch. This is what we believe would have a direct viewer connect rather then simply showing movies back-to-back.”
“The channel has undergone an extensive media landscape research carried out by ACNielsen and IMRB. The Hindi movie channel research was also done through our in-house team. It covered 500 respondents in four metros of the Hindi speaking markets. The channel will target pan-India Hindi speaking markets in 4+ SEC,” Aditya added.
He refused to divulge details regarding the estimated investment, but did reveal that the aim was to be among the top three movie channels in the next 12 months in terms of GRPs.
The key people that would form the team at UTV Movies include Rajesh Baruah, AVP, Programming; Suparna Chadda, Senior Executive Producer; Sanjay Bhasin, Vice-President, Sales; and Ali Imran, VP, Marketing.
Dilshad Master, COO, V&S Broadcasting, pointed out, “Viewership is very high on weekends Sunday afternoon is very similar to a prime time slot. Looking at two slots of programming on the weekends, starting from the 12 noon time band, there would be only one break. This comes from our research and focus groups. We are also addressing the issue of too many breaks during a movie.”
The second slot during the same day – ‘Sunday ka Funda’ – will air in the 3.00 pm time band and feature more of ‘Snack’ movies. While in the mornings at 8.00 am, the channel would showcase films specifically for children under ‘Bachcha Party’. This slot would also feature English movies dubbed in Hindi.
For the weekdays, the channel has planned a special ‘Paisa Vasool’ band at 8.30 pm. Blockbuster movies such as ‘Life in a Metro’, ‘Jab We Met’, and ‘Aap Ka Suroor’ would premiere as part of ‘Sham-e-Shukravar’ on Friday nights at 8.30 pm.
UTV Hindi Movie channel has already signed up with two advertisers, including Airtel. The look and the design of the logo have been worked upon by Singapore-based Bruce Dunlop & Associates.