Zee to launch movie channel under new brand ‘& pictures’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 08, 2013

Grabs satellite rights of big-ticket Hindi movies

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has launched a new brand ‘&’, under which its movie called ‘& pictures’ will be launched on August 18. This is an attempt by the broadcaster to break away from the Zee branding and come up with a fresh offering to target the changing consumption trends of viewers.

The company has been aggressively bidding to bag satellite rights of big-ticket Hindi movies in the past two and half years to spruce up its library. This includes Chennai Express, Zanjeer, Besharam, Ghanchakkar, Commando and Aatma. The new movie channel is expected to be present across all cable networks and DTH service providers by the end of this month.

Rival Star India had also launched a movie and a general entertainment channel under a separate brand ‘OK’, with Life OK and Movies OK in 2011.

ZEEL Chief Content and Creative Officer Bharat Kumar Ranga said, “The movie channel will be our first launch under the brand ‘&’ and there will be a network of channels under the brand.” The broadcaster said these channels would target mass TV viewers.

“A new movie channel allows us to build on our existing film and digital resources to create a continuing conversation with an audience that is interested in staying connected and engaged with the world around them, he added.

ZEEL Marketing Head (National Channels), Akash Chawla, said the company wanted this to be an interactive movie channel that would build on digital products, keeping in mind the fast-changing habits of viewers. “These products will bridge the gap between being on television and also on the Internet. We aim to become a Hindi movie-based video platform,” he added.

“In mid-September, the channel will bring the first digital product. For instance, there is a lot of content around a movie, such as making of a movie, interaction with stars. We do not have enough air time to put it on television and will divert it to other platforms,” he added.

Chawla did not give specifics of how the brand will woo viewers who are increasingly using mobiles, tablets and computer screens to watch video content.

Asked if the channel would cannibalise on Zee Cinema, Ranga said some cannibalisation of viewers could happen.


Published on August 08, 2013

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