Television

Star India launches Star Movies Select HD; to have 30 premieres in a year

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MUMBAI: Come 9 July, 2015 and Star India will unveil its new offering, this time in the English movie channel space. Christened Star Movies Select HD, the channel will be in addition to the network’s existing two English movie channels: Star Movies, Star Movies Action.

Positioned as ‘Star Movies Select - 365 days 365 stories,’ the channel is based on the insight that the audience today seeks new and enhanced experience in life.

Findings

For a premium HD channel like Star Movies Select HD, the network undertook an extensive research amongst consumers and absorbed the feedback to ensure better connectivity.

According to Star India business head - English cluster Kevin Vaz, the findings indicated that consumers were facing two problems: One, all movie channels were playing same movies with several repeats; secondly, most of the channels were airing only action movies.

“Through our in-depth research, we understood that people wanted variety as well as movies from across genres,” informs Vaz. “Not more than 10-15 per cent of the movies being aired on the new channel will be from the action genre,” he adds. 

The findings further revealed that consumers want to see drama, comedy, animation and thrillers amongst others. “Keeping all this in mind, we thought of coming up with a product that could address all these cravings of a consumer,” asserts Vaz.

Catering to consumers’ demand for variety, the channel has come up with a unique proposition of telling consumers a fresh story everyday at 9 pm. Moreover, a chunk of international movies which do not release in India, due to lack of screen space, will also be shown on Star Movies Select HD every month. “They might be $100 million movies, but do not see a India release. We will give those to the consumers through our new offering. If you look at the ratings, 6+ and 7+ movies are considered to be the best rated movies. Everything on this channel will be a 6+ rating movie,” reveals Vaz.

The network has tied up with three of the biggest Hollywood studios, viz 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal and Disney.  “With all these studios, we have the first output deal. Under the agreement, any movie released by the three studios will get aired on Star India’s English movie channels,” he says informing that close to 60 per cent of the movies made are from the banner of these three studios.

Star Movies Select HD will see world television premieres of movies like Gone Girl, Fault in our Stars, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Theory of Everything and Birdman to name a few. The newbie claims to have over 30 premieres in the year, seven out of 10 Oscar winning premieres, movies that stood out at the Golden Globes and more.

 “Normally people feel that any new channel is a replica of the existing channel from the network, sharing the same library. But, we will ensure that 90 per cent of the movies being telecast are exclusive to Star Movies Select HD. For the 10 per cent, which may overlap, we will not air movies like X-Men or The Wolverine but a movie like Life of Pie which is a story and visual based movie,” opines Vaz.

The channel plans to showcase 12-13 movies each day with weekends being a destination for special premieres and under released movies. It will celebrate the finest stories by creating festivals based on strong consumer insights – movies based on true stories, book adaptations, iconic movies, biopics and many more.

Marketing it in a premium way

The channel which goes live on 9 July is currently focusing on only direct to home (DTH) platforms. It will launch first on Tata Sky, Videocon d2h and Dish TV followed by Airtel Digital TV in the next couple of days.  

Being a premium channel, it doesn’t plan to have a SD feed. “Being only on the HD feed will help in HD subscriptions and grow the HD base. If you see today all the HD channels are replica of SD channels, so it is only a clarity which is a plus point,” adds Vaz.

The channel has seen a positive response from the advertisers. It has roped in Pernod Ricard as the channel partner. Other advertisers include, BMW, Yamaha, Flipkart, Bluestone, Hindware, Jockey etc.

On the day of the launch, buzz will be created across Star Network’s SD and HD channels including other networks too. Radio and digital will also be used in a big way to promote the development.

A media expert believes that there is no channel in the market who will give so many premieres. “Take the example of MN+, it’s been on for six months, but have consumers even talked about it? It’s been playing the same library that Romedy Now had. There is no differentiation. Star Movies Select HD looks a classy channel to me,” says the expert.

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