Television

Excel Home Video looks to grow the TV DVD segment

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MUMBAI: Earlier this year Excel Home Video entered the television segment. It released the first seasons of Desperate Housewives and Lost.

Encouraged by the response the company is now looking to add more titles to that list.
Speaking to Indiantelevision.com this afternoon, Excel Home Video MD MN Kapasi says, "Our focus is only on English shows as those in the SEC A and A+ segments watch them. They can thus afford to buy them. We will be releasing the second seasons of Lost and Desperate Housewives. These rights were got from Buena Vista.

"We will now be releasing seasons 1-5 of 24 as well as Prison Break and The Simpsons. These rights we got from Fox. Other titles include Boston Legal and Grey's Anatomy. The Hindi segment is not cost effective. If you want sell a DVD of a Hindi soap like a Saas Bahu then you would have to price it cheap.

"By the end of the fiscal year March 2007 we will have eight English TV DVD titles. For the next fiscal we will add another seven to eight titles. We are looking at specialised content like aerobics and possibly adventure sports." The television venture helps Excel build on the relationship it already has with Fox and Disney as far as films are concerned.

Excel Home Video has 1,000 English film titles on DVD. One of its latest releases has been Ice Age 2. To push it kicked off an offer in association with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Each DVD has a hologram. If the hologram matches the hologram shown on the channel then the consumer gets Ice Age 2 merchandise which has been imported. This way Kapasi says consumers become more aware of legal products as pirated stuff do not have holograms.

On the retail level when a consumer buys a DVD he can get an Excel VCD exchanged for a DVD and just pay the price difference. The Ice Age 2 DVD has a coupon. The consumer just has to mail the coupon. To push Ice Age 2 Excel also did wall executions in retail outlets like Planet M, Rhythm House. The dubbed version of Ice Age 2 in Hindi will be released later this month. New titles coming up are Cars, X-Men 3 and Pirates Of The Carribean 2. To push X Men 3 Excel will have ads on Pix and AXN. This too will be a hologram linked effort.

Excel also did the innovation of re - releasing the first Pirates film on DVD to coincide with the release of the sequel. It also re released the first two X Men films to coincide with the theatrical release of X Men 3. "This strategy of synergy marketing has worked well for us" adds Kapasi.

He says that 50 per cent of Excel's above the line marketing activities are done through television. Print he adds has not really delivered. Excel not surprisingly also advertises in select multiplexes through slides as that is one place his TG frequents.

Excel has also come out with the strategy of having Movies and More outlets. This is a place where one can buy DVDs and VCDs. Right now there are 11 mostly situated in multiplexes. The plan is to increase the number to 40 by the end of the fiscal. There will also be a presence in malls.

Excel has around 30 Hindi films in its library including Dor and Lagaan. Kapasi rues the fact that there is no method in the price one pays to get the rights for a Hindi film. A producer according to him often quotes a price without looking at factors like the market size. He is hopeful that with new producers like Farhan Akhtar coming in the situation will improve.

In terms of targets he says that the company expects a 40 per cent growth in turnover for this fiscal. Bottomline growth is expected to be in the range of 18-22 per cent. The efforts of Excel have not gone unnoticed. Fox is happy about the way Ice Age 2 has fared on DVD. Fox VP intl licensees Richard Crook says, ?The success has sharpened our focus on India?s growing home entertainment market. Excel Home Videos our licensee in India, has delivered a fantastic job by successfully targetting the festive holidays?.

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