MTV Immies music awards to be held in December

MUMBAI: MTV India and the Indian Music Industry (IMI) today unveiled what they claimed is India's first music awards - the MTV Immies.

The MTV India awards ceremony, the inkling of which was first given by as far back as in April (read report MTV India Music Awards on the anvil?), is scheduled to be held on 12 December at the Goregoan Sports Club in Mumbai.

Coinciding with 100 years of the Indian recording industry, the award ceremony will bring together a galaxy of local and international stars.

The Immies was announced today in Mumbai jointly by Universal Music company chairman and IMI president Vijay Lazarus, MTV Networks India MD Alex Kuruvilla and Bharti Cellular CEO Atul Jhambh. Also present on the stage were Sony Entertainment TV India CEO Kunal Dasgupta and music maestro (and Bharti Cellular brand ambassador) AR Rahman.

Lazarus stated that, for the inaugural year, they planned to give away 23 awards in all - which will cover the 'films', 'pop', 'international', 'special' and 'others' genres. Categories run across films to spiritual music, Indipop to devotional, ghazal to international. Among them will be an inspiration/special recognition award for outstanding contribution to music over the years.

Kuruvilla mentioned that they might have awards instituted to honour excellence in different linguistic categories, as well. Kuruvilla pledged that the awards ceremony will be a longterm commitment. He said that after MTV Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, MTV Asia Music Awards the next step naturally was the MTV India Music Awards.

Enter Dasgupta. "Dekho, dekho, dekho/ Immie dekho/ Sabse pehle Sony pe dekho", sang the Sony CEO and immediately got the desired effect - the audience was in splits!

Dasgupta spoke about his channel's role in the award. With the channel having bagged the rights for numerous other events like the Filmfare Movie Awards, Femina Miss India Awards, the Mega Model Contest and Abby Awards and concerts of A R Rahman, Lata, Ismail Durban, Shah Rukh Khan - the award is an important addition to their portfolio, he said.

Others present at today's press conference were IMI executive members including Tips chairman Kumar Taurani, Venus chairman Ganesh Jain, Crescendo managing director Suresh Thomas, EMI virgin managing director Mohan Mahapatra, Sony managing director Shridhar Subramaniyam, Universal managing director Rajat Kakkar, Sa Re Ga Ma vice president Atul Chiromani, Times Music vice president Ravi Bhatnagar and Venus vice president Champak Jain.

About Immies

The awards - presented by cellular service Airtel - is scheduled to be aired simultaneously on MTV and Sony Entertainment Television, on 14 December 2003. The event will be co-sponsored by LG Electronics and Maruti Alto.

The awards ceremony will also have a rerun on Sony Group's cricket and events' arm, MAX.

Nominations for the Immies have been invited from any artiste who has released a song in the Indian market , in Hindi or Punjabi between 15 September 2002 and 14 September 2003. Kuruvilla said that the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) International, a leading research agency, along with IMI and MTV, will manage the entire nomination and voting process. Any artiste performing in India is eligible for nomination, he specified.

IMRB will conduct a quantitative study of the nominations received in the popular categories across seven cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore and Hyderabad).

The final nominations of the popular categories will then be put up for a 'Viewers Choice Vote' on MTV. Viewers can vote for their favourite nominees via, SMS or through on-ground polling booths at MTV hangouts.

In the ghazal, devotional/spiritual and classical /fusion categories, the winners will be decided by a jury consisting of IMI and MTV members. The duo's International Label Committee will take a call on the international winners. A separate executive nomination committee will de

The channel will plug in the awards via a big bang multimedia marketing campaign. For four months this year, the channel will brand itself as 'Awards TV'. Over 80-hours programming and over 1,700 promos will be dedicated to the awards.

Campaign will be supported by print advertising in national dailies and magazines, outdoor billboards across four cities, a 10-city ground contact programme and online promotions on the channel website.

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