ZEEL's &Privé HD channel to target upscale non-conformists in six metros

MUMBAI: There's a thin sliver amongst  the hundreds of millions of cinema lovers in India that gorge on international independent and award winning films. Leading indian TV network Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) is about to offer them something that is going to keep them glued to their TV sets  when  &Privé HD launches come 24 September 2017. 

“The breeze of change is seen as everyone is focusing on connoisseur, hedonist and explorers, but we are targeting the non-conformist,” says ZEEL English cluster head Aparna Bhosle.

&Privé HD's tagline is ‘Feel the Other Side’ which distinguishes it from others in the English movie channel  genre.

With films  from 28 independent Hollywood players and studios such as Paramount and PVR, &Privé HD library boasts of 350 exclusive titles.

&Privé HD, designed and packaged by Zink, a Canadian digital agency, will telecast over 40 premieres in six months after the launch. Moonlight will be the first premier on the launch day, airing on two time-slots -- 1 and 9pm. Other premieres and movies on &Privé HD include:  Lion, Pele, Jackie, Arrival and Free State of Jones.

“The English movies TV channel  market (in India) is worth Rs 4.5--Rs 6 billion; English content viewership (on HD channels) is on the rise,” points out Bhosle.

&Privé HD is targeting the six metros and will be available on Dish TV, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, and Sun TV. Zeel was in talks with Videocon d2h for distribution at the time of writing.

“In 2015, India had five million HD STBs, which saw a 160 per cent increase over the past three years. Today, we have around 10.8 million HD STBs,” Bhosle revealed.

The marketing and promotional campaign of &Privé HD has been drawn up by FCB Ulka. Zeel's team has conjured an innovative out-of-the-box promotional plans for the niche channel, apart from pushing the launch TVC on all  sister-HD channels. Digital, print and OOH media are slated to start rolling out the messaging for &Privé HD.

“Our digital platform has a reach of 14 million which will help us to increase our viewership. Our outdoor campaign will hit Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru on 18 September and multiplex promotions will start two days before the launch,” Bhosle adds.

Attempts have been made to crack the niche genres in the past with efforts by the likes of NDTV with NDTV Lumiere, which lasted a couple of years, but was pulled off, despite critical appreciation, on account of a lack of a profitable business model. And since then others have entered like HBO Hits, Sony Le Plex and Star Movies Select HD.

A media professional states that times are different now and discerning viewers - around two million of them in India - are willing to pay to watch exclusive differentiated content in HD as evident from the traction Amazon Prime and Netflix have got in recent times.  "Hence, it's quite likely that if Zee sticks by &Privé HD and gives it time, it could end up finding a profitable niche for itself in, let's say, the next three years," she says.

That's how Indian movie lovers are hoping &Privé's script will play out.


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