DTH

'Love Cinema Live Cinema' with Tata Sky's new service

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MUMBAI: If you are a passionate movie-lover but miss screenings or are closely related to some aspect of filmmaking which only few are privy to, you need not worry at all as Tata Sky has brought in a solution. After brainstorming for a year, the DTH player has launched a first-of-its-kind service in cooperation with the Jio MAMI Festival with Star. Purpose: To retain and make their existing subscribers happy. This comes after a successful run of its kids showcase which will now be replaced with this new initiative. 

An ad-free service, Tata Sky Mumbai Film Festival will not just cheer up the movie buffs but will also highlight the efforts that are invested during the film festival.

With no additional cost, this service is available to all the subscribers irrespective of their package, set top box, demography and geography.  Despite having a very good story line, made in high quality, movies sometimes do not find their way to the public. The idea with this initiative is to give niche movies a boost by screening them on TV.

Starting from 7 October, the service will be available on channel no 302 &302 in both SD and HD. The temporary service will complement the new edition of the film festival and will also be a catch-up for all the movies that were premiered in the previous editions. It  will run three films on a daily basis and already has 20+ movies to air from renowned Indian and international directors in multiple languages.

Silent films, movies made in Hindi, English, Assamese, Marathi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Arabic, Russian, French, etc will be featured on this service for the subscribers.  They can also enjoy works of directors like Hansal Mehta, Anup Singh, Ravi Jadav, Bikas Mishra, Pan Nalin, Nitin Kakkar, Lea Hjort Mathiesen.

“We are not selling this service. We care enough to curate and create a mix of some popular and some hidden gems from the field of film-making for our viewers from the last few editions of the Mumbai Film Festival. We have several people who pay us on a monthly basis. We are in the business of acquiring subscribers but we also have to retain them. Sometimes you do things because you want to make them happy. The monetizing cannot always be direct and immediate. The ambition and aspiration with this is that people will be more loyal to us after this,” asserts  Tata Sky chief content and business development officer Paolo Agostinelli.

Agostinelli further adds, “We have talked to the producers and have bought rights for selective titles. We did not want them exclusively with us. A person can still put it on his/her digital platform, we are just giving them one extra opportunity. Technology is only going to make good stories available to people who deserve and want to watch them.”

Through this unsponsored yet innovative initiative, subscribers can look forward to an exciting mix of award winning and nominated features, short films, documentaries, animations covering varied genres of comedy, drama, thriller, mystery, crime and adventure. The promising star casts include names such as Sanjay Suri, Irfan Khan, Seema Biswas, Atul Kulkarni, Tisca Chopra, Soham Maitra, Manoj Bajpai, Rajkummar Rao, etc.

MAMI Festival director Anupama Chopra added, “We were delighted when Tata Sky extended their support and suggested taking these curated films from both Indian and international to viewers living across the country. This unique and unconventional approach just goes to prove that the entertainment and media industry needs to come together for the benefit of the extraordinary passion and talent of movie makers and lovers in India.”

Research was done to make good movies available for people at a different level. This service will bring a selection of movies from the film festival on TV giving them exposure at a different level.

“The fact that this MAMI Festival needs to be promoted and needs awareness is what we are working for. India is the most prolific and probably the most receptive movie country in the world. The number of people who are passionate about movies and the number  of people working in the film industry  are enormous. So, people care about movies here.”

Several DTH players have expanded their services to rural India which is only expanding. Agostinelli is of the opinion that the people living in rural areas were sometimes more educated about movies than urban. He said, "Rural market is definitely a huge market and is expanding enormously. People there are equally passionate and love entertainment as in cities. So, we aim to serve also this potential subscribers.”

The initiative will be promoted through direct marketing  via its various other channel. They will also leverage social media. All the normal modes through which their subscriber is in touch will be used. Agostinelli is also of the opinion that the DTH industry has place for more players. “There is enough space for many players to serve this industry.” 

Tata Sky will continue to explore new ideas and take up various initiatives to make a difference in this competitive industry. They might look at other festivals depending on the success  with this one. 

With such initiatives in its kitty and presence in 1.5 lakh towns, it only plans to expand in the future. It currently has 418 SD, 77 HD channels, 15 interactive service, 6 SD, 6 HD movie showcase platforms and several interactive services.

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