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The script has a new twist – ‘Made-for-TV’ films

12-February-2002
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The script has a new twist – ‘Made-for-TV’ films

Taking cue from movie channels like Star Movies and HBO in English or Kondattam TV (celebrations in English) in Tamil, more and more entertainment channels are looking to drive viewership thru movie-based programming. But the script has a new twist! Made-for-TV movies. Balaji Telefims has announced its serious intent. And Gemini TV is excited about the success of a recent small budget movie.

Gemini Television produced ‘Nuvvu Nenu’ (Only for You), a relatively low budget Telegu movie. The movie is reported to have surpassed channel’s expectation by completing close to 200 days. On an investment of Rs. 2 crores, it has already generated close to Rs. 10 crores. Aggressive promotion exercise has helped. Says Sharad Kumar, Director, Gemini TV, “We did an event, every 25 days, to promote it. We put up a special billboard where people could post love messages; auctioned clothes and had a comedian do a special student edition ”

Buoyed by the success, the channel is working on more ideas. Sun TV, Tamil channel from the same stable, is also looking at a few projects.

In a race to air ‘unique content’ to draw audiences, several other channels could experiment with this format, this year. While absence of big names makes it difficult to promote such movies, producers choose to disagree. “Instead of spending money on a star cast, the producers spent it on researched content and innovative promotions,” says Kumar. Gemini TV is even looking at movies that have animals in lead roles!

TV channels, by following this strategy, can gain two folds; advertising revenues from television airings and the share in box office booty. “ We are a TV channel and it makes sense for us to follow this route as strong scripts and aggressive marketing will help draw a handsome return on investment,” says confident Kumar.

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