Television

Star India to launch FX HD in mid September; spruce up content line-up

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MUMBAI: As competition heats up in the English Entertainment space with the launch of Colors Infinity and Colors Infinity HD along with the recent revamp of Comedy Central, existing players are now upping their game with compelling content and HD launches.

 

In a bid to stay ahead in the game, Star India's English entertainment channel FX is all set to change the way Indian viewers consume content. The channel, which is undergoing a brand refresh by adding new content, will also be launching its high definition (HD) version, FX HD within the next two weeks.

This year, the channel is all set to captivate viewers with the #AllNewFX by showcasing over 50 of the most edgy, new and acclaimed shows across genres.

Speaking about FX, Star India English cluster business head Kevin Vaz said, “English speaking people in India are increasing at a substantial rate and therefore more and more channels are coming in. FX will be for audiences who are following English entertainment since a long time. We now have Star World, which is for family viewing, Star World Premiere - the ad free channel - will cater to premium category and with FX, we want to reach out to the top brass.”

The network pulled Fox Crime off air recently. Vaz cites lack of content and not poor response as the reason for taking the channel down. “We didn’t want to mix it with other content, hence when we saw there were not enough offerings, we decided to pull the curtains down on it,” informed Vaz.

Piracy often eats up a major pie of English entertainment viewership as consumers are accustomed to downloading pirated content and watching marathon episodes on their desktops and laptops. Vaz is of the opinion that accessibility can change that behaviour. “The world is now connected unlike ever before. People talk to friends in the US and want to see content with them and talk the same trend. That was not happening earlier so people resorted to downloading. Now shows will be available at the same time as the US, so I don’t see that factor being a huge obstacle,” he adds.

Post the KBC and Kyunki era, Indian viewers want to consume content everyday and are not used to the concept of waiting for a week, which is a challenge, as per Vaz. Shows in the US are aired once a week and at times while there is Christmas or any other occasional break, they are not even aired every week. “People in India don’t expect something like this. There 22 episodes are run over 32 weeks,” he says.

Keeping Indian viewers at par with the world on English entertainment, FX is all set to make weekends more exciting with day and date shows on the soon to be launched HD version. This will enable viewers to watch the latest episodes of shows like Homeland (Season 5),Affair (Season 2), Empire (Season 2) and Doctor Who (Season 9) right after the international telecast.

What’s more, the action doesn’t stop there. Psychological thrillers like Luther and Bosch, reality comedy like Last Comic Standing and Last Man on Earth will all be showcased in the month of September on FX.

Weekends have also been spruced up with FX Top Rated – where viewers can watch the highest rated and loved shows back to back. With 80 per cent premieres and only shows that pass the 7+ rating on Imdb, FX Top Rated is slated to bring curated quality content across the year.

The all new look and packaging of the channel is specially designed to bring out its strong brand promise of ‘Edge of Entertainment,’ which aptly resonates not just the channel philosophy but also that of curated content.

Content price is constantly escalating and India is yet to figure out which revenue model will work and which won’t. “I think we need to have all the options available for consumers at this stage,” said Vaz.

The English entertainment space on Indian television is definitely getting a facelift at a brisk pace with channels putting their best foot forward as far as programming goes.

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