It may not have the biggest film titles in its kitty, but the channel,
in its new avatar from late November, claims to be doing pretty
well with the films it has been airing in the last few months. With
phase II of the revamp scheduled for June, the channel is now targeting
appointment viewing, particularly in slots like the five pm band.
"Research conducted last year indicated that while audiences flitted
in and out of a movie after the first half hour, most were clueless
about the exact timings of when a movie would start on the channel.
Now we are building specific slots, which people will identify with,"
say officials within the channel.
and average films constitute a big chunk of the top 25 movies
aired on Hindi film channels in the quarter just ended, claims
The phase II of Zee Cinema's revamp will kick by June, and is
expected to gather steam by July. Quoting the top 25 movies aired
since January 2003 on Hindi movie channels (on the basis of TV ratings
point), the channel points out that audiences have been lapping
up films which have a fantasy element/ animals/ supernatural angle
It is the four to 14 age group which is particularly receptive
to this kind of movie, surprisingly. Single TV households, coupled
with a paucity of options in the evening time, seems to be the reason
why Zee Cinema's telecast of flops and semi flops are doing well
on the telly. Quoting examples and TVRs, channel officials point
out that while Lagaan on MAX scored a TVR of 2.26, a flop
like Maharaja, aired recently on Zee Cinema, garnered ratings
of 1.62. Hit Humraaz managed 1.66 while a nonentity like
Khilona Bana Khalnayak got a TVR of 1.58. On the other hand,
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge on MAX got a TVR of 1.21.
Zee Cinema officials say that the network's research showed that
themes with a supernatural element were the ones that were doing
well --- the same trend as in serials. Like the Darr slot
on Zee Cinema one and a half years ago which showed 15 to 20 films
of the kind in the category, repeated on Thursday evenings till
the library was exhausted.
Then the channel started with the Wednesday s Mix Masala at
five pm, showing films like Hatim Tai, Anjali, Safed Hathi …but
discovered that only films with a specific kids' audience in mind
are not the ones that will do well. A Little John, showcased
on Zee TV as part of the Thursday premieres late last year, however
did do well.
Now being shown as part of the Ek Ka Teen Premiere slot on
Zee Cinema (the same film airs at different times on consecutive
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), the films, albeit flops, appear
to be doing well. As to why such films do better despite being flops
at the box office, officials feel that low end involvement with
television as a medium is one of the main reasons.
Whatever the reason, Zee Cinema seems to be on the right track.