With a presence of one year and eight months in the market, English movie channel WB is a comparatively new player in the genre and faces tough competition from the likes of HBO and Star Movies. The channel has gone into aggressive mode again, acquiring new shows and is looking good with 200 new titles by the end of 2010.
WB channel is happy with its growth so far. Media planners say that the channel is on the right track, but feel that it can do much better.
Preeti Mascarenhas, Partner, Invention, Mindshare, remarked, “Yes, WB has kept its promise to deliver. It is an entertainment channel, which is catering to the audience in a very niche manner. Like UTV World Movies, which is catering to the audience by getting them world cinema, WB is also doing something similar in its own manner. There is a higher affinity of audiences in that space because they have global values. I think it makes sense and it is doing pretty well.”
Surbhi C Moorthy, Deputy General Manager, Allied Media, noted, “WB is trying, but it is not in the same league as HBO or Star Movies. The titles that they own are good and they are on the right track. They could have done much better, but it is too early to say. We should give them some more time.”
Commenting on the channel’s growth, Monica Tata, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, Entertainment Networks, South Asia, Turner International India said, “Post an extensive research across geographies and demographics, we have tuned in our programming with the English entertainment needs of TV viewers across the country. Excitingly, WB received instant viewer acceptance and success as it launched in the No. 3 position with 12 per cent relative share in March 2009. With such encouraging results and response in such a short time, we look forward to the festive season and the coming year.”
Talking about the kind of advertiser response they have got on the channel, Tata said, “WB has established itself as a premium Hollywood destination with advertisers who seek a premium environment for their brands. The network WB has seen healthy growth in advertising revenue in 2010 as the monthly revenue grew 50 per cent over 2009. This growth came from doubling the number of clients in 2010 (over 2009) and WB today has a portfolio of over 100 active brands. WB surpassed last year’s revenue in the first half of 2010, and with the festive season, the revenues are set to double by the end of 2010.”
Interestingly, WB offers movies with just a single two-minute break at 9 pm on Saturday nights. Tata added, “WB is the destination for Hollywood aficionados, a channel for English movie lovers. WB’s offering is all about premium Hollywood titles and we are aggressively extending this viewing experience to the key English movie viewing nights. WB’s content strategy is focused on the 9.00 pm slot. With a line-up of strong, premium WB titles, WB has made its Saturday 9.00 pm movies, single break movies. Hitting bull’s eye with this strategy, we are delighted that ‘Matrix Revolutions’ rated as the No. 1 transmission.”
Commenting on the road ahead for WB, Tata said, “WB also has an exciting slew of premiere shows under its WB Breakfast Franchise such as ‘Good Morning Miami’, ‘Four Kings’, and ‘New Adventures Of Old Christine’. Also, in the upcoming months our exciting Trilogy block will air all time favourites such as the Blade Trilogy: ‘Blade’, ‘Blade II’, and ‘Blade: Trinity’; ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Trilogy: ‘Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring’, ‘Lord of The Ring: The Two Towers’, ‘The Lord of The Ring: The Return of The Ring’. Other upcoming titles are ‘10000 BC’, ‘Speedracer’, ‘Golden Compass’, ‘Batman Begins’, etc. Plus, by the end of 2010 alone WB will be adding 200 new titles.”