Television

ZMZ to revamp in January

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MUMBAI: Don't peek now, its changing. Zee Network's English movie arm, Zee Movie Zone (ZMZ), has earmarked January 2005 as the month to make a powerful come back.

Barely a month after ending a four-year-old relationship with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in India and rechristening itself as ZMZ, the channel is mulling a complete change in its look and perception.

While the channel has already embarked on a dipstick study to zero down on a suitable logo and content for the channel, a new team has been set up to spruce up the packaging and the graphics.

Taking a leaf from rivals HBO and Star Movies, ZMZ plans to acquire exclusive titles for the channel and weave innovative promotional campaigns.

Says Zee MGM business head Ajay Trigunayat, "Although you might be able to create better perception about your channel with help of promotional push, what actually helps you tide through is superiority of content."

"We are currently toying with the idea of introducing the mini-series on ZMZ. We are currently looking at Bourne Identity series. But we are awaiting market feedback. Additionally we will be airing some great titles like Laws of attraction and the latest Oscar winner Monster. In fact, we are looking at kick starting the change with two volumes of Kill Bill movies," adds Trigunayat.

The next move will be to create festivals and movie bands to encourage appointment viewing.

"During the airing of the Bond movies festival, we saw that our viewer base jumped from 14 per cent to 19 per cent. We are hoping to garner a similar growth from the Indian Jones festival this month," says Trigunayat.

When quizzed about the functioning of the channel following the buy-out of MGM by a consortium led by Sony Corp, Trgunayat offers: "We had merely 6-7 titles from the MGM group. So in essence, parting ways with MGM didn't really affect us. In fact, many of the production houses that were initially hesitant to give us the telecast rights for their title are quite forthcoming now."

The move now is acquire as many unique titles to give the channel a contemporary image. The channel is currently talking to several big production houses and an independent body of American producers. In addition to that, the channel is looking at cross over movies to provide a wide content mix.

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