Zee Movies to be rebranded as Zee-MGM Movie Channel

In a bid to revitalise the sagging Zee Movies channel, Zee TV is relaunching it as Zee-MGM by mid October. No details were made available about the deal between MGM and Zee Telefilms for the partnership, excepting that it has been labeled as a joint venture.

Zee Movies had launched in mid-March 2000 with a library consisting of a la carte movies and shows from MGM, Pearson, Diskovery, Passport, Pearson, Fremantle. But it failed to make a dent with the channel. Offering competing fare was HBO which had launched around that time with better movies and packaging.

Indian viewers also failed to buy Zee TV's foray into English language programming as it is primary perceived to be a provider of Hindi entertainment and information fare. The rebranding and association with MGM should go some way in removing some of the dissonance in the earlier branding exercise. Mainly because MGM is an international brand and has had a pretty good run in the local theatrical cricuit.

But one will have to wait and watch whether viewers will get swayed away from the attractive fare that HBO is supposed to start beaming out over its south Asia channel with all the four studios agreeing to participate in the channel after close to three months of bickering.

The MGM library mainly consists heavily of sixties and seventies products. It includes such legendary series as James Bond, Rocky, Pink Panther. Other titles include award winning and popular movies - Thelma & Louise, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Moonstruck, Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, Fargo, Dances with the Wolves and a host of others. Zee-MGM will also showcase critically acclaimed MGM masterpieces from the Woody Allen series as well as its vast repertoire of timeless classics.

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