The English movie players had been eagerly waiting for the performance of 'Terminator - 3, The Rise of the Machines' on HBO. The numbers are out but T - 2 on Star Movies on the same day had given the latest from the 'Terminator' movies, a tough fight.
On April 8, 2005, when HBO aired T - 3, Star Movies had aired 'Terminator 2, Judgement Day'. In the all India market for the C&S AB 15+, the numbers for T - 3 are slightly better (0.38) than T - 2 (0.33). However, if the weekly ratings are seen, Star Movies is ahead of HBO. Even if the top 50 movies are seen in the year so far, Star Movies claims 35 positions, including the top five.
If the numbers are focussed some more on the metros, where the core TG of English movies comes from, the prime time numbers for all week (9.00 pm to 11.30 pm) keeps Star Movies in a better spot. For the English movies genre, where the base itself is very small, the difference between the two channels is not much. However, the fact that Star Movies is a step ahead is something to look into.
So what is working for Star Movies or not working for HBO? Abbas Muni, GM, Carat (South & West), said, "One thing about STAR Movies is that, may be due to the STAR backing, it is the default channel for most viewers. In any situation, a viewer first sees the default channel and if he is unhappy, he switches to the next option."
He further explains that traditionally HBO has been seen as the action/ horror/ thriller channel and Star Movies was more of a family movies channel. But in the 2005, beginning from taking the Big One concept from HBO and making it 'Big Two', Star Movies has added more of action and supernatural titles in its library.
"If you follow viewership pattern, people who watch action and thriller kinds of movies are more loyal than soft movie watchers. So this genre does help in extracting the stickier audience and this is in totality helps the channel," added Manish Porwal, GM, Starcom.
Another point that media experts bring out is that, the fact that HBO has recently changed hands shouldn't also be neglected. "They would take some time before all the basics are in place," said Muni, "once that is taken care of, they can concentrate on the other add - ons."
The success that HBO had seen when it introduced the Big One concept with 'Spiderman' is still unmatched in the genre. Even titles like 'Hulk' and 'Lord of the Rings' haven't given it that kind of success. So far in 2005, HBO is facing some problems but it doesn't take long for scenes to change in this genre.