MUMBAI: All roads and the biggest names in Indian cinema and television converge at Mumbai’s Film City on 8 February this year. Reason is the 14th edition of the Zee Cine Awards aka the ‘World’s Biggest Viewers’ Choice Awards’ to be held there.
Among A-list acts, Shah Rukh Khan will perform to some of the hit numbers from his films including Lungi Dance, 1234 and so on. This year, Lux Cozi has been roped in as title sponsor. Additionally, the network is pitching for a special partner and looking for more sponsors across categories.
The Zee Cine Awards, started in 1998, were the first ever awards to be introduced by a television network and have since grown into an institution of sorts.
Exults Zeel managing director and CEO Punit Goenka: “Zee Cine Awards is a property with growing global reach and audience share. The success of this award over the years makes it an indispensable component of advertisers’ media mix and this year, they will further leverage it across the network’s varied channels.”
This edition of the Zee Cine Awards will see a partnership with the Neeraj Pandey scripted film, Total Siyapaa, starring Ali Zafar and Yami Gautam and several initiatives on this front are to be announced shortly.
Says Goenka: “Every year, the talent recognized by our viewers continues to inspire us with the depth and richness that the Hindi film fraternity represents. We will support extraordinary new films that need a platform like Zee Cine awards to showcase them to the industry, and that’s why we are pleased to support Total Siyapaa. We are looking forward to celebrating their achievements in a fittingly glamorous way at the awards.”
What also makes the Zee Cine Awards unique is that viewers’ votes decide winners. For instance, last year’s awards drew an unprecedented over 4.5 million votes from across the globe. This year too, in keeping with its promise Haq Hai Aapka, the network will only declare nominees across popular categories and then pass the baton of selecting Best Actor, Best Film and so on to its loyal audience through a transparent and hassle-free voting mechanism.
As Zeel chief sales officer Ashish Sehgal puts it: “We are amongst the first broadcasters to come up with an award like this. And secondly, we were the only ones to give them out as per viewers’ voting. Earlier, all the awards were constituted by film magazines – be it Screen or Filmfares.”
Significantly, the Zee Cine Awards 2014 will be telecast on 23 February on multiple channels (Zee TV, Zee Anmol, Zee Tamizh, Zee Cafe etc.) across multiple geographies in different languages and genres, with a programming reach of over 700+ million viewers across 168 countries.
So why are the Zee Cine Awards being held in Mumbai for the second consecutive year after creating a worldwide footprint across destinations like Singapore, London, Mauritius and Dubai?
Replies Sehgal: “With almost all awards airing overseas, after a long period, we brought it back to India, thinking we should give a chance to Indian audiences also.”
Zee Network is pulling out all stops to promote one of its biggest properties across platforms.
Viewers can log onto www.zeecineawards.com for a visual treat that traces the journey of the awards from 1998 through 2000 and till date, complete with over 2000 exclusive photographs and over 500 videos showcasing some of the best performances, award acceptance speeches, Kodak moments and behind-the-scenes buzz.
Apart from this, the awards will be promoted on all network channels, giving advertisers an opportunity to reach out to different audiences across categories. Digitally too, the awards will be promoted in a big way with SRK’s performance as one of the highlights.
With the channel having achieved its targeted revenue of Rs 300 million last year, what is the target for this year, given there are restrictions on inventories unlike last time. Apparently, the network plans to make the extra moolah by showcasing the event on Zee’s HD channels as well (Zee HD, Zee Cinema HD and Zee Café HD). “Given the restrictions on inventories, the only thing that can go up is pricing,” says Sehgal.
“This year, we are looking at kind of maintaining those revenues because we believe they are the highest revenues generated by an award show. The advantage we have this year is we can make extra money by showcasing these awards on our HD channels (Zee, Zee Cinema HD and also Zee Café). For evolved and discerning audiences, we are selling it separately. Though title and powered by will be common in both the channels, there will be more numbers of associate sponsors separately,” signs off Sehgal.