Star Movies nudges past HBO in ratings sweepstakes

MUMBAI: As the fight for supremacy in the English movie channel segment gathers strength Star Movies has gained an edge so far this year.

TAM data indicates that last year, in terms of channel share all day, the channels were level at 34 per cent each for c&s15+ SEC A, B five Metros. This year, however, for the first 12 weeks while Star has maintained its share at 33 per cent HBO's has gone down marginally to 29 per cent. Zee Studio's share has grown slightly from 10 per cent in 2004 to 13 per cent in 2005. AXN's share has risen from 21 per cent in 2004 to 25 per cent this year.

More tellingly, a look at the top ten films of 2005 shows that Star has six titles. HBO has two. Curiously, its biggest film so far The Lord Of The Rings-The Fellowship Of The Ring has not found a spot. Data for the period 26 December 2004 to 19 March 2005 shows that Die Another Day which had aired on New Year's Eve on Star Movies topped with a rating of 0.97. HBO's Big One Hulk follows with a rating of 0.89. Its Scorpion King had a rating of 0.8.

Dino mania shows no sign of letting up. The Lost World on Star Movies got a rating of 0.63. The situation last year was more even when both channels had five films each in the top 10.

The stakes can only get bigger as the year rolls on. Star Movies' big films will include Pirates of the Caribbean, Master And Commander : Far Side Of the World, Sideways, Oscar winner for best picture Million Dollar Baby and Shrek 2. HBO, meanwhile, which celebrated five years in India recently will seek to dazzle with its next Big One The Matrix Reloaded as well as S.W.A.T, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, Hollywood Homicide and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers.

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