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Times Network’s HD push for English entertainment channels via campaign


30 Aug 2013
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Times Network is pushing the three HD offerings of its English entertainment channels.

Last year, it had launched MN+, an HD-only English movie channel that caters to discerning viewers.

Earlier this year, it launched an HD feed for Romedy Now.

Movies Now already has an HD feed.

To push these HD offerings, the broadcaster is launching a campaign today.

With the tagline ‘Raise Your Standard to High Definition’, the new campaign urges the viewers to switch to HD to raise their standards.

Times Network English entertainment cluster senior VP, business head Vivek Srivastava said, “We are delighted to be rolling out this multi-media campaign to encourage TV homes to make a rewarding switch from SD to HD and enhance their Hollywood TV viewing experience.

Around 12 million HD-enabled LCD and LED panels are sold every year, but there are only about six million HD subscriptions, so there is immense growth potential.

This campaign will benefit not only our own English cluster, but the entire industry.

“HD channels have shown a 93 per cent increase in viewership over the last year and have doubled their ad volumes.

Times Network has been a pioneer in the HD space, and we have a full-fledged HD offering with Movies Now HD, Romedy Now HD and MN+. We hope that this campaign will persuade viewers to subscribe to the HD packs.”

The campaign film, featuring Purab Kohli, is a fun take on how Hollywood is viewed in India.

Launching on Monday, it will air across all Times Network and other reach-based TV channels.

Read more at: http://www.televisionpost.com/television/times-networks-hd-push-for-english-entertainment-channels-via-campaign/ | TelevisionPost.com


24 Nov 2014
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Times Network’s plans for the English entertainment channels

The three English-language entertainment channels of Times Network have differentiated their positioning and content strategy. While Movies Now is about big, bold blockbusters, MN+ is aristocratic and is about good stories. Romedy Now, on the other hand, is soft and mushy. Movies Now, which has been leading the genre in terms of viewership, has longstanding deals with Fox, Sony, NBCUniversal and Warner. While content has to be true to the soul of the channel, the focus has also been to get the different buckets right

“The bedrock is to get the right product. The programming strategy is smart—smart acquisitions, smart segmentation and smart scheduling. I think that we have got the basics right on a whole host of things and that is why Movies Now has been leading,” says Times Network English entertainment cluster senior VP, business head Vivek Srivastava

From a scheduling standpoint, the channel has looked at different slots and how different movies are playing. The team at Movies Now evaluates every slot when it comes to viewership and schedules accordingly. “While our primetime is from 7 pm to midnight, we do not ignore the other slots. Certain people are loyal to certain day parts and certain people are loyal to the platform. Day parts differ for different people,” avers Srivastava. Care is taken not to overexpose any movie. “We don’t repeat a movie too much,” says Srivastava.

The role of premieres Each of the three channels has a premiere once a month, which has helped from a perception standpoint. “Movies Now never used to do premieres. Last year we did several premieres. ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Fury’ were the standout movies. MN+ just aired ‘August Osage County’. The premieres give us ratings and bring in ads,” says Srivastava.. The plan is to air 36 premieres this year on weekends. “We will air ‘Sin City 2’ on MN+ and ‘John Wick’ on Movies Now. Give or take, 36 premieres will air this year on the weekend on the channels,” reveals Srivastava. While Movies Now has properties at 9 pm, 11 pm and on the weekends, the aim is to not do too much of it. “We don’t clutter too much. We believe that we should do fewer things, fewer festivals, but they should result in higher viewership. Quality is a key parameter that we run with,” explains Srivastava.

Romedy Now
Romedy Now’s content mix includes series airing from 6 to 9 pm, followed by movies. “We will stick with this. It works in terms of viewership, advertiser perception and consumer affinity. Many shows are premieres, but we do not select a show based on that criteria. It has to fit the psychographic profile of the channel and be good content,” he says. There will be a new season of ‘Jane the Virgin’. ‘Ellen’ has a new season. “The family tunes into the channel. I will not say that it is female skewed. We have an even male-female skew on the channel. It is a happy, emotional channel. But it is not that everything that is happy and emotional only appeals to females. Movies Now has more of a male skew. At this point of time, I would not consider putting an action show on Movies Now. I don’t think that it is required.”

MN+ attracts the decision-maker in the household and its primetime runs from 7 pm to midnight. “The channel’s content is differentiated from anything else in the market. It is present across all HD platforms. We have an excellent library for it and this has been the reason for its success,” says Srivastava

Movie slotting
Since the channels are differentiated from each other, the same movie is not screened across the channels in a month. “If a movie airs on one channel, in a month it will not on any of the other two channels. This is a strict policy for us. Since the channels are differentiated from each other, I cannot think of one movie that will find its place on all the three channels. It would be like putting Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Amir Khan in the same movie,” explains Srivastava. On the weekend, the aim is to put more family-oriented content on Movies Now, especially in the mornings and in the afternoons. It gives flavour. On Romedy Now, episodes of shows air back to back on Saturdays.

The challenge
Growing distribution and ad sales revenue is a challenge for the category. There are industry challenges in terms of ARPU not going up. The English movie and entertainment genre is also not getting what it deserves from an ad sales point of view. Therefore, given the competition in the space, it is crucial to have a stellar product. “The English genre can do better. It is punching below its weight,” he says.

Future channel launches
There are no plans to launch more channels in this space at this stage though the company has licences, Srivastava says.

Read more at: Times Network’s plans for the English entertainment channels | TelevisionPost.com | TelevisionPost.com
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