Hindi movie channels unfazed by IPL

Hindi movie channels unfazed by IPL

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MUMBAI: Marred by controversies and drop in viewership, the Indian Premier League no longer rings alarm bells for other broadcasters like it did in the first three years when the share of the official broadcaster Max zoomed past most others by a big margin.

The Hindi movie channels who till 2010 used to draw up aggressive plans to shield themselves from the IPL onslaught are today talking in terms of ?business as usual?.

Star Gold vice president Hemal Jhaveri declares that the channel saw 10-15 per cent growth in viewership last year. His statement resonates with competitor Zee Cinema, which according to the channel?s business head Mohan Gopinath, also grew by 10-15 per cent.

UTV Movies did not participate in the story.

The fact that IPL viewership dropped by as much as 25 per cent last year has also bolstered the Hindi movie channels as they take on IPL.

According to TAM, Max?s share had slipped from 16.03 per cent in 2010 to 12.1 per cent in 2011 during the IPL. The share of Hindi movies went down during the same period from 24 per cent in 2010 to 21 per cent in 2011.

The fact that Max, the official broadcaster of IPL and a key player in the genre, remains out of the race for almost two months when the IPL is on also adds to the excitement for the rival networks.

?IPL like any other cricket tournament can?t be wished but at the same time there would be a huge audience that would want to look at other programmings. If you have a strong lineup, viewers will come to you even if it is cricket, a high point or launch of a big show,? says Jhaveri.

Star Gold is targeting the afternoon and primetime slot. ?We are focusing on the afternoon slot keeping the vacations in mind and for prime time we, of course, have pretty strong lineups for the next two to three weeks. " The list includes Dabangg, Tees Maar Khan, Singham and Golmaal.

The channel is also pinning hopes on Sujay Ghosh? Kahaani which would be released sometime later during the summer vacation.

Zee Cinema is betting on the afternoon slot. Says Gopinath, ?Historically, Zee Cinema has not been affected by the IPL because we have been doing our stuff on Zee Cinema Dopahar which we will be continuing."

Gopinath is planning to air movies Tarzan and Mr India targeted at kids.

?There will be an afternoon slot during the month of May driven towards the movie watching viewers apart from the blockbusters that we will be airing in the prime time. We recently did a premiere of Don 2. Movies like Tarzan, and Mr India which are watched by kids will be aired during the IPL,? Gopinath avers.