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IPL might impact the other genres’ viewership, says Ruchir Tiwari, Zee movie cluster

While Tiwari believes that IPL might impact the viewership of other genres, it doesn’t stop him from premiering certain big titles during the tournament. The channel has planned premieres for Padman around May and Ittefaq, Gold, Mukkabaaz and 2.0 this year. Padman and Ittefaq will coincide with IPL

Ruchir Tiwari

In an effort to fight the effects of IPL 2018, Zee Cinema had recently launched Cinema Premiere League that has five teams supporting five different genres of movies that will be telecast on the channel for two summer months.

Ruchir Tiwari, Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster, said, “We are likely to see an impact in viewership on account of IPL this year, because the home of IPL has changed. A lot of newer audiences might come into the sports neighbourhood, rather than the movie neighbourhood. Cinema Premier League is an attempt to keep reminding the audiences to come on to the movies genre too. I am expecting the category to benefit from this and even Zee Classic and &Pictures will get this rub-off.”

The format of the CPL programming block is such that each team is supported by a celebrity – Mandira Bedi will support Khan Riders, actor Hiten Tejwani represents the team Family Indians, Saumya Tandon (of Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain) represents Comedy Challengers, The South Kings will have Anita Hassanandani to support, while Karan Wahi chooses to support Action Warriors.

So, since the movie titles and the library is the same as Zee Cinema had been telecasting already, is this league a marketing innovation or a programming innovation?

Tiwari said, “It’s a mix of both. Whenever a movie channel tries to do a special summer line-up or something, it all boils down to a movie festival. It’s easiest to call it a T20 Blockbuster and get the rub-off of the season. We tried to analyse it in depth. While ideating at content level there is a mixed bag of content that has threshold levels of their TRPs and deliveries, the challenge is how do we align that to make something a festival that gives me appointment, conversion and a reason for the consumer to understand and gain incremental viewership.”

He explained that the idea behind this concept was to ensure that a film that has been aired ‘n’ number of times, should have a spike in viewership. “We have tried to delve deeper into what is fresher content, what’s premium, what genres work at what time bands. We worked to innovate this concept on the content front and the marketing muscle then amplified it for us.”

These genres – action, comedy, family drama, south Indian films and Khan films – are the backbone of any movie channel, believes Tiwari.

Prathyusha Agarwal

Prathyusha Agarwal, Chief Marketing Office, ZEEL, explained the concept from her point of view, saying, “This is a viewer innovation. We went to the viewers and tried to understand which genres do viewers want to come back to. Two things that are important is – the surge of audience and why are they coming on that particular time, while the second is a person coming to the movie channel for a certain movie and then walking out. If I am vouching for a team, I would rather want to come back and see what are the other movies in the segment.”

So, this league is about creating loyalty viewing among movie watchers, which otherwise is a sporadic viewership genre. A mix of audience will be looking for certain mix of movies.

While Tiwari believes that IPL might impact the viewership on other genres, it doesn’t stop him from premiering certain big titles during the ongoing IPL. Last year too, the channel premiered blockbuster films like Dangal. This year around, the channel has planned premieres for Padman around May, Ittefaq, Gold, Mukkabaaz and 2.0, of which Padman and Ittefaq will coincide with IPL.

Speaking more about the summer months, Tiwari said, “We are intending to make CPL an annual property. Every summer is a mood of sports and holidays. A lot of family viewing comes into the game. April-May is a better month for viewership. More people come to the TV in these days and we can always amplify their time spent.”

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