Hollywood's wildchild Movies Now 2 HD to launch by July end

MUMBAI: Home to blockbuster movie titles, happy sitcoms, popular romcoms, cult classics- the Times Network’s English Entertainment Cluster has managed to find its space in the Indian cable TV and DTH sun despite it being a late entrant. And it has been continuously ramping up its offering targeted at discerning English content guzzling audiences.

Now it has added another channel to that bouquet by announcing the launch of a new age Hollywood channel for Young India titled Movies Now 2 (MN2)

With a library of 300 plus titles, the channel is slated to launch on 24 June 2016 at 9 pm. While the HD feed will roll out by end-July 2016, MN2 has signed a long term first output deal for the satellite rights with MGM which includes six to seven premieres a year. Apart for this, it has also partnered with Warner, SPN, NBCUniversal, etc for various hit titles.

Positioning itself as the cinema of tomorrow, MN2 will have stylised content, right from a new identity and on-air look to an interesting library. It is also being promoted as a destination for some of the most high profile and appropriate titles across genres that are universally celebrated by youth. The Times Network has labelled MN2 as Hollywood’s wild brainchild channel with a 'rebellious' personality.

Times Network English Entertainment Cluster senior VP and head Vivek Srivastava says he is excited about the launch as the channel has been honed for this free-spirited, opinionated, rebellious and “engaged youth looking for adventure, edgy and new-age stylised cinema. It is an all new Hollywood English channel experience for young India which is Sexy, Stylish and Smart.”

But why choose the name Movies Now2? “Movies Now is an iconic name and we think it deserves an extension. Lot of research has been put into place before deciding this name. We want to go mass and make this colloquial,” explains Srivastava.

Banking extensively on bold content, the channel plans to air it in programming blocks or on-air properties with quirky titles like Moviegasm which has been given a slot of 9 pm Monday to Friday; the Swag Nights segment broadcasts every Monday to Friday at 11 pm; BAE Love starts from June 2 every Saturday at 7 pm, while the weekend spoof festival 2wisted will telecast at 9 pm. Thug Life will showcase movies like Hangover III, Kick Ass 2, Bangkok Dangerous, the Oceans series, R.I.P.D, 21, etc on weekends at 11 pm.

So have these segments been drawn up to give advertisers a reason to latch on to them? Clearing the doubt, Srivastava points out that hey have been created only to drive mass viewership. “The festivals are created for viewership and not sponsorship. But if this gets us business, there is no harm in that,” he jests. “Crisp segmentation, visible positioning backed with quality content makes a channel successful and that’s what we have done with MN2.”

The channel will also premier a bevy of movies like Sin City 2, Hot Pursuit, 3 Days to Kill and Poltergeist to name a few. With no repeated content from the other two channels of the network, MN2 will have a mix of old and new content which will be routinely updated.

Beaming through Intelsat, the new channel is part of the group’s English bouquet and carriage have been struck across all major DTH and cable TV platforms.

With an already overcrowded movie space and with two movie channels already in the group, how will this channel have an edge over the rest? Srivastava believes the youth positioning and edgy indie and mainline films will do the trick. He asserts: “On the one hand we have roughly 400 Hindi/regional channels, but on the other hand we have a mere 40 English Entertainment channels. I think there is enormous space for multiple channels to be launched than what we have today.”

The Moves Now 2 logo has been designed by Famous Innovations while the channel IDs and the promos were created in-house.

Focussing on the beyond metro cities too, MN2 will extensively be promoted through traditional out of home (OOH) advertising. The OOH campaigns will begin from 28 July while marketing on television and print will be initiated with the launch of the channel. “We have always been aggressive with marketing our properties and we will continue to do so with MN2. Apart from the diverse promotions across our network, we have a robust TV and print advertising plan ready for action. We will significantly focus on digital platforms as well, voiced Srivastava.

With approximately Rs 250-300 crore business in the English entertainment space, the group is just a few licences away from launching another English news and an entertainment channel.

So watch this space for further action from the Times Network.

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