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Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Zee film channel to target youngsters

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013.

Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (Zee), India’s leading media and entertainment company, is launching a new Hindi movie channel to engage with the younger audience.

Christened ‘&pictures’ and positioned as a premium and interactive movie channel, it will go on air on August 18. A pay channel, it will initially be available with all the cable networks and later be extended to the direct-to-home (DTH) operators.

Bharat Ranga, chief content and creative officer, Zee, said the company has own network of consumer feedback that comes from across 172 countries.

“Many people shared details about their lifestyle, beliefs, values, likes and dislikes, and based on these insights we found out that households these d ays comprise members with a new emerging set of mindset. We thought there was an opportunity to cater to these television viewers worldwide and hence creation of this new brand,” said Ranga adding that more launches can be expected in the future.

Commenting on the logo, the company officials said the ampersand sign in ‘&pictures’ signifies ‘Udaan’ (flight) and ‘Neev’ (rooted) and celebrates the duality of contemporary Indians.

“The Ampersand in the logo merges seamlessly with the ‘p’ of pictures and connotes the ease with which today’s viewer blends his ambition to soar high while remaining rooted to his sacrosanct values. The colour red radiates the viewer’s bold ambition as well as the richness of their traditions,” said Ranga.

&pictures will be the sixth movie channel in Zee’s bouquet that comprises Zee Cinema, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Premiere, Zee Classic and Zee Action. The new channel’s programming slate will be anchored by 24 hours of daily content including premieres of upcoming big-ticket films in its first year.

The new channel will have a nucleus of 250-300 films, of which 80% including the likes of Chennai Express, Zanjeer, Besharam, Ghanchakkar, Commando and Aatma will be exclusive to the new movie channel.

The rest will be picked from the common Zee library, particularly those released in the last 10 years. Among the newer titles in the library include films Kai Po Che, ABCD, Barfi, English Vinglish, Tanu Weds Manu, Love Aaj Kal, Agent Vinod, Agneepath, Desi Boyz, Kambakt Ishq and Break Ke Baad. In fact, 90% of ZEEL’s common library comprises movies released post 2000.

Also, the company has lined up various innovations to be unveiled in the coming months.
Taking the first step towards interactivity the channel has announced a contest for India’s first digital crowd sourced film on Twitter.

Akash Chawla, marketing head (national channels), Zee said, “We will also launch some advanced products that will take interactivity to a completely new level altogether.”

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