The last few years have seen content segmentation in the entertainment cluster and, as 2018 sets in, English-language channels are promising to offer an exciting year with a lot of action to look forward to. “Content segmentation has emerged and that has been a big success in 2017. Today’s consumers know what they want. If you give them a platform which is specific to a bucket of content, chances of success are far greater,” Vivek Srivastava, Executive Vice President and Head – Entertainment Cluster, Times Network, told IANS.
“For example, MN+ is known for offering best stories. It has been a success as we have taken the best of Hollywood and put it on the channel. The titles were not finding any space on other channels or were put at odd hours on TV. The fact is that when we created a platform specific to this content, we realised that there is an audience that identifies with this kind of cinema and will specifically come to this platform,” he added.
Similarly, Romedy NOW, a rom-com channel, targets the family audience. “So, we are creating content buckets. As long as the platform is true to the content, there will be viewers that will come to it. That’s the key plan for 2018. Our objective is to get the best of Hollywood to India,” said Srivastava. In the coming months, MNX has planned a Republic Day Special. Movies like “Valkyrie”, “Edge Of Tomorrow”, “The Dark Knight”, “Ben-Hur” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” will be aired.
As part of Franchise Weekends, popular films such as “Final Destination”, “Bourne Series”, “The Matrix” and “Superman” series will be shown on the channel. Those looking for romance on the small screen, watch the Valentine’s Day Special on Romedy NOW and catch romantic comedies like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Little Manhattan”.
“The year 2017 has been a year of great content backed by innovative marketing campaigns across our four channels — Sony PIX, AXN, Sony BBC Earth and Sony Le PLEX HD. We involved the audience by taking to the route of experiential marketing. This year (2018) too will be an exciting year for Sony Pictures Networks’ English cluster with a lot of action to look forward to,” said Tushar Shah, Executive Vice President and Business Head, English Cluster, Sony Pictures Networks India.
As promised, Sony PIX will bring an assortment of movies like the 2017 American erotic romantic drama “Fifty Shades Darker”, “The Fate Of The Furious”, which is the eighth instalment of the car-based action franchise, “Despicable Me 3”, a 3D computer-animated action comedy about mischievous minions and Gru, and the musical comedy “Pitch Perfect 3”.
There are must-watch English shows too. Colors Infinity has some exciting shows in their line-up. “The Royals”, a drama about a fictional British royal family set in modern day London, will return with its Season 4. “Black Lightning”, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, is ready to tell the story of a retired African American superhero.
Star World has an interesting line-up of new shows, including Season 2 of the “American Crime Story” which features prominent international stars such as Penélope Cruz and Ricky Martin, and Season 1 of the American supernatural sitcom “Ghosted”.
Audiences can also binge watch the new seasons of the multiple Emmy award-winning comedy series “Modern Family” (Season 9), and Season 4 of “Agents Of Shield”, which is set against the backdrop of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. AXN will air the fifth season of “Vikings” and also get TV series “Doubt”, starring Katherine Heigl.
“For the English entertainment channels, 2017 has seen a considerable change in consumption patterns through the choices the audiences have made. Viewers have become socially evolved and aren’t looking at English content from just a recreation point of view but also as conversation starters,” Aparna Bhosle, Business Cluster Head – Premium and FTA GEC channels – Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), told IANS.
“In 2018, the aim is to further present quality content. At &Prive HD, we will continue to be a premium destination for quality cinema with the Indian television premieres of some of the most-awaited critically-acclaimed movies. “With a wide content spectrum, Zee Café will continue to bring show and season premieres of coveted titles. This will be coupled with robust marketing campaigns. Additionally, we have a few interesting things lined-up,” she added.
One of them is “Celebrity Family Feud”, which is a spin-off of “Family Feud” and is hosted by the stand-up comedian and Emmy Award-winning host Steve Harvey.