Monday, August 27, 2007

Max leads Hindi movie channels

It has been a busy six months for Hindi movie channels. While Max has tried to latch on to its gains from the ICC World Cup with big ticket film purchases, Zee Cinema and Star Gold have tailored their strategies to fit in with the market reality and focussed on smart purchases.

With the help of Tam data (HSM C&S 4+), takes a look over the performance of the Hindi movie channels across a six-month period.

As the movie channel genre gears up to witness fierce competition, the past six months (January to June 2007) has seen a tussle between Zee Cinema and Max for the leadership spot. While Zee Cinema started ahead, it was dethroned by Max in March. Star Gold comes in at the third spot, but lagging far behind are Filmy and B4U Movies.

The shuffle in the top slot, in fact, took place in March with Max seeing a swell in viewership because of the ICC World Cup. As the channel dished out live cricket content from the West Indies, it hogged a channel share of 49 per cent, majestically up by 17 per cent.

Zee Cinema, on the other hand, slipped to the second position with the share dropping from 33 per cent in February to 26.

Star Gold also couldn't survive the cricket wave and slipped from a 24 per cent share in February to 17 per cent in March.

However, in the months that followed, Zee Cinema got back in the game inching closer to the leader with a share of 32, as Max stands at 34 in June.

As expected, the ICC Cricket World Cup did help Max cannibalize shares from other channels in the genre. But as India exited, so did some viewers but still it was attractive enough for Max to garner a channel share of 40 in April.

Max business head Sneha Rajani is happy with the outcome that cricket delivered for the channel. She said, "Although the ICC Cricket World Cup was the last cricket property on the channel, it did well for us despite India's exit."

Zee Cinema inched up to a share of 29 per cent in April while Star Gold gained five per cent.

Post World Cup, Max's task was to hang on to the lead even as it transitioned from a hybrid to a pure movie channel. The culmination of the cricket phase was immediately followed by the Amitabh Bachchan Film Festival, titled Ab Tak Bachchan, in late April. The channel also extended its primetime by bringing it forward to 8 pm from its earlier positioning at 9 pm.

It was as if a war was on between Amitabh Bachchan Vs. Amitabh Bachchan on the two competing channels. Zee Cinema launched a Big B festival titled Shanivaar Ki Raat Amitabh Ke Saath.

In May, Max continued to lead over Zee Cinema but dropped its share to 37. Zee Cinema stabilised in the two months with a score of 31 and 32.

The gap has, in fact, narrowed in June with Max slipping to a share of 34.

Sharing insight into how the channel hopes to regain its lead, Zee Cinema deputy business head Mohan Gopinath said, "We have almost reached Max with the help of film festivals. In fact we are planning several more in the coming months. The whole idea of festivals is to let the viewers know about the movies they missed out."

In a highly title driven TV movie market, Max is looking to maintain its current postion by betting big on blockbusters. The channel has reportedly spent over Rs 2 billion to acquire a mix of big, medium and small movies from big banners like Eros International, Yashraj Films Dharma Productions and Mukta Arts, among others.

Max kicked off the promotional activity for these films with 'Saal ke Sabse Bade Blockbuster' and will be screening Namastey London, Cheeni Kum, Gandhi My Father, Eklavya and many more.

The channel shelled out close to Rs 650 million for 16 films from the Eros stable alone. Rajani opines, "We have not even shown half of the Eros movies that we acquired, but I am confident that all of them will do well for the channel."

As far as big titles are concerned, Max has only recently started showcasing this blockbuster library with Kaabul Express, Lagey Raho Mumnnabhai and Kabhi Alvida Ne Kehna.

Zee Cinema has not done major buys this year. The channel, instead, believes innovative programming is the route to achieve the lead.

"We have done a few buys but all depends on how innovatively you promote and screen them," said Gopinath.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nach Baliye 3 from September

‘Nach Baliye’ returns with all the fan fare and more. This time the celebrity based reality dance show will be telecasted not on Star One but on Star Plus. And the show goes on air from September. The ten celebrity couples include Rakhi Sawant and Abhishek Awasthi, Kashmera Shah and Krushna Abhishek, Shakti Kapoor and Shivangi Kapoor, Pooja Bedi and Hanif Hilal, Shweta Keswani and Alexx O’Neil, Karan Patel and Amita Chandekar, Vikas Sethi and Amita Sethi, Karan Grover and Kavita Kaushik, Aamir Ali and Sanjeeda Sheikh, and Kiran Janjani and Ritu Janjani.

Shahrukh, Deepika Padukone, Farah Khan on Koffee With Karan

Are you thinking that Karan has exhausted the list of guest and the rare combinations in Koffee with Karan?

Well in that case I have good news for you. Karan has got some real combinations left for the show this season. The first dhamakedaar combination is Shah Rukh Khan- Deepika Padukone- Farah Khan on Sunday, August 26th at 9 p.m. on Star One and Star World. And needless to say the episode is a fun roller coaster ride.

Excerpts from the fun episode:

Karan: Welcome back to Koffee with Karan, How does it feel? It is your third appearance?

Farah: Fourth, if you are not counting when I was a judge in the last season.

Karan: Oh right, you judged the finale episode.

Farah: Ya. I have been here almost as much as you.

Karan: A big event that has transformed your life is your wedding. That happened two years ago?

Farah: Ya, two years.

Karan: I thought it would change you. Tell me, has it changed you?

Farah: ahhhhhh… has it?

Karan: I am asking you. Has it made you softer, calmer?

Farah: I don’t think it has made me calmer for sure. But yes, it has given me a perspective in life. And I do enjoy staying at home a lot more now.

Karan: Yes, you have someone to come home to.

Farah: Ya. I like being around the house, doing homely things… not just being on set so much. But I still enjoyed making my second movie a little more than I enjoyed making my first one… when I wasn’t married then.

Karan: So cool you look — new hair do, muscles, six pack I heard…

SRK: Four

Farah: Four have come, two to go!

SRK: I am still working on the last two.

Karan: What made you make this change?

SRK: My son feels I am fat.

Karan: He thinks you are fat?

SRK: He thinks I am fat. He beat up a girl because, first she called me an a******, then she said I look very ugly on KBC… sorry Star. He didn’t react, he controlled himself. Finally, when she said, your father is fat, he kicked her. So I got angry with him, and he said, ‘Papa, you know what? It is not her fault, it’s you. Why are you fat? Because she said, ugly, I didn’t mind. You looked handsome on KBC. You are not an a****** I know. You are a cool guy. But you are fat Papa.’

Karan: He thinks you are fat.

SRK: Just imagine. What he thinks about you and Farah, lets not get into that.

Farah: Thanks!

Karan: Are you nervous at all?

Deepika: I am very nervous.

Karan: Was it the same kind of nervousness when you were offered this film? You had to work with Shah Rukh, with Farah… were you completely like all nerves the first day?

Deepika: It was the same kind of nervousness; especially on the first day. Although Farah went all out to make me feel comfortable, she introduced me to Shah Rukh well in advance…

Karan: And everyone tells that he is a terrific co-star…

Deepika: He is fantastic to work with.

Karan: It feels special that you are a part of such a monstrous project? .

Deepika: Yes and we have almost come to the end of it.

SRK: I thought Karan was saying you are part of such a monster (pointing to Farah).

Deepika: No, she was wonderful.

Larger than life Shah Rukh and his biography

When it comes to Shah Rukh, no other term than Larger-than-life is suitable for him. The King Khan is elated at his film Chak De’s immense success but he is even more humbled at the release of his biography ‘King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema’ by Anupama Chopra.

The book has sold more than 10,000 copies in mere 10 days! Wooph… no one apart from SRK can put such a spell on public. So who all are planning to buy the book guys???

Larger than life Shah Rukh and his biography

When it comes to Shah Rukh, no other term than Larger-than-life is suitable for him. The King Khan is elated at his film Chak De’s immense success but he is even more humbled at the release of his biography ‘King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema’ by Anupama Chopra.

The book has sold more than 10,000 copies in mere 10 days! Wooph… no one apart from SRK can put such a spell on public. So who all are planning to buy the book guys???

Sanjay Dutt gets temporary bail

After an array of disappointments regarding the Tada court’s verdict for Sanjay Dutt, there is some good news for the Dutt family and also to Bollywood fraternity. Sanju baba has been granted a seven day interim bail by the court. Family and friends of Sanju baba are celebrating the court’s decision.

Can you guess what the lovable actor is going to do in the bail period that he gets? Well, if you think he is going to spend a quiet time at home, then you are wrong. The actor will oblige his friend Rajkumar Hirani by doing a cameo in Hirani’s next film starring Shah Rukh Khan. A source was quoted saying, “Sanju has a crucial cameo in the film. Hirani considers Sanju his lucky mascot and he couldn’t have made a film without him. Also, Shah Rukh and Sanju make a good pair.” Rumors are that Sanju baba will be spending all of his bail time to finish the movies that are halted because of his imprisonment. And these include Sanjay Gupta’s Alibaug and Sanjay Gadhvi’s Kidnap. In the meanwhile Sanjay Gupta says, “We will surely resume shooting but it all depends on Sanju’s frame of mind. He will call the shots in this case. The moment he is ready to shoot, we will do so.”

Surely Sanjay Dutt is a committed actor and he has also got a great friends circle in the industry.

Shah Rukh Khan in Heyy Baby

It is highly unlikely that Shah Rukh disappoints his favorites. So when Sajid Khan asked Shah Rukh for a qawalli number in his first directorial venture ‘Heyy Baby’, SRK readily agreed.
So the movie has not just got Akshay, Ritiesh and Fardeen dancing with Bollywood’s sizzling beauties like Malaika and Dia Mirza, but also has Vidya Balan, a cute baby girl and now SRK to take the movie to its highest comic peak. Let us see on 24th August how SRK makes us be a ‘Mast Kalandar’ with the qawalli in the movie!