The great Indian Diwali on English GECs and movie channels

As families and friends come together to celebrate Diwali and spend personal time with loved ones at home, English movie and general entertainment channels (GEC) have put together some of the best line ups to reign in the festive period. While the genre stands fragmented, channels nonetheless are trying to woo audiences with either movie or show premieres or telecasting title’s that have repeat value.


Zee Studio which underwent a refresh recently will telecast its special Diwali movie, How To Train Your Dragon at 12 pm and 9 pm. Its festival property ‘Studio Dynamite’ will include blockbusters such as Mission Impossible, Transformers, Avengers etc. Apart from this, movies like Lincoln, Shrek Forever After and Shutter Island will complete its programming lineup.


Starting 23 October 9 am onwards, Movies Now viewers are in for a programming lineup which covers different genres. To tickle the funny bone are the hilarious trio of a sabertooth tiger, a sloth and a wooly mammoth from Ice Age. This will be followed by The Karate Kid, Kung Fu Panda, The Matrix, Olympus Has Fallen and X Men Origins: Wolverine. The finale will see good forces combine in an all out war with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.


HBO and its two premium channels; HBO Hits and HBO Defined too are vying for a share of the viewership pie this festive season. HBO will telecast Pacific Rim on 23 October at 1:57 pm, Step Up on 24 October at 6:54 pm, Red2 on 27 October at 9 pm, followed by World War Z on 28 October at 9pm. While HBO Hits will serve Riddick, Ghost Team One and Season one of The Knick on its platter, HBO Defined will have season one of Grace, Silicon Valley and True Detective.


Another major player Star Movies has also put in place a festive lineup. Robert Downey Jr fans can watch Tony Stark’s world being torn apart by the formidable terrorist called The Mandarin on 23 October at 9 pm. This will be followed by Men In Black at 11 pm.  The other movies include Unstoppable, Speed, Fast Five, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Men in Black 3, King Kong and Resident Evil: Retribution.

Sony Pix from the MSM stable along with its English GEC AXN started their Diwali celebrations with the simulcast of the legendary crime fighting cyborg Robocop on 19 October at 1 pm and 9 pm. AXN has also brought in two new shows especially for the festive season. While NCIS runs from Monday to Thursday at 10 pm, Supernatural airs every Saturday at 10 pm.

So what brings English movies and GECs come up with special programming for Diwali? Says Maxus managing partner north and east region Navin Khemka, “Currently as some of these channels are able to draw an average yield, they try building a lot of hype and aura around these shows through various campaigns to maximise the yield in an extremely fragmented space. The festive season thus is about increasing the average yield where survival is vital.”

English GEC Romedy Now through the theme of celebrating the joy of family and togetherness has launched its property ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ starting 4 October, 8pm onwards. The lineup for the slot includes Family Stone, The Notebook, Guess Who, Madagascar, Monster-in-Law and 27 Dresses among others.

Comedy Central too has announced the launch of four new shows that will be premiered from 27 October from Monday to Friday. These are Billy on The Street 9 (at 8 pm) Psych (seasons one to four at 9 pm), Penn and Teller: Fool Us (at 10 pm) and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon at 11 pm. These four will be premiered from 27 October 2014 from Monday to Friday.  

Star World Premiere HD has New Girl season four, Community season five, Revenge season four, Modern Family season six, Bones season 10, Home Land season four among others. Star World will broadcast House season five, The Simpsons season 17, Masterchef Australia season six, Big Bang Theory season five etc. Meanwhile FX has lined up The X Files season nine, Californication season seven, Sons of Anarchy season six and Alias season one among others.

According to Madison Media COO Karthik Lakshminarayan, since festive period sees a surge in advertising and these movie channels and GEC’s too are vying for a share of the pie, they come up with the special programming lineup. “The special programming for the festive season helps channels spike their advertising revenue on an average by 10-12 per cent,” he concludes.

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