Haathi Mere Saathi is set for a direct-to-TV release on Zee cinema. How has the market adapted and evolved in recent times to accommodate such big-ticket releases on TV?
●There has been a paradigm shift across markets, in the way audiences consume content. On-ground entertainment saw a halt and audiences were exploring other avenues in absence of that, which fuelled viewership during lockdown. India is mostly a single-TV market, so during this period TV screens became the centre of family entertainment. Zee Cinema is known for bringing blockbuster movies and quality entertainment for its audiences. Haathi Mere Saathi is one such offering. It is a family entertainer and captures a heart-warming bond between animals and humans embedded with a strong message. Innovation remains at the core of our business and with Direct-to-TV like initiatives we are discovering new avenues of this market. After all, acquiring good content and providing space for it to reach the audience is what we work towards each day.
What have been the viewership trends in Hindi Movie Channels across broadcasters?
●The industry has witnessed overall growth in viewership during the lockdown. Now, audiences’ search for new content is not limited to just Hindi movies. A lot of our acquired dubbed content like Vijay the Master and Krack, saw heavy viewership on the channel. Since work from home set-up collided with cinema halls being shut for nearly 18 months, people turned to TV for Hindi and regional dubs for entertainment. The rural belt has had massive viewership growth as more movie channels penetrated the market and hit them with the best, diverse content. With the output of new films being diverted or delayed from theatre releases, Hindi movie channels have rigorously tried to bring fresh content to television.
Does mega-releases of Hindi-dubbed movies from across the nation feature in Zee Cinema’s upcoming bouquet of offerings?
●We look forward to bringing wholesome family entertainers and blockbuster movies for our audiences, catering to all their preferences. Hindi-dubbed films from the south struck a chord with viewers. Power-packed action, performances and strong storylines attract audiences across the country. World Television Premiere of mega hits Master and Krack were very well received. We plan to bring more of such regional dubbed content to fore. We are likely to bring exciting titles such as Seeti Maar and Khiladi 420 very soon
How do you expect the financial year 2022 to shape up for the Hindi Movie Channels?
●The prospects appear to be promising as we can expect television to retain the place as the largest segment with a steady growth. We have an exciting content line-up designed to align with the interests of our viewers and their ever-evolving consumption appetite with the changing times. Covid-19 and the lockdown that followed has played an important part in creating audience affinity towards television. In the past year and a half, we have seen how people spend time at home, how their content patterns have changed and how their affinity towards TV has continued even post lockdown and the industry is constantly trying to seek newer avenues to engage with them. 2022 looks promising as we look to deliver what we stand for which is fresh content, unlimited immersive entertainment, anytime from the comfort of your homes
The best businesses are built around passion, what are your views on the same.
•Passion is the key. When you are passionate, it reflects across every action – your successes, solutions, facing challenges as well as intermissions. It helps with sharper focus. When you run your business with passion, you deep-dive into the nitty-gritties and this understanding drives you to adapt to the changing dynamics of the industry.