Max, the movie channel of Multi Screen Media (which also telecasts the IPL cricket tournament) has gone on a shopping spree.
It has bought two of this year's biggest cinematic successes — Ashiqui 2 (box office collection of Rs 80 crore) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani (collection of Rs 180 crore at the time of publishing).
It has also acquired the satellite rights to Shootout at Wadala, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara, Krissh 3, Ek Thi Daayan and Lootera. The channel is also in talks with Yash Raj Films for its slate for the rest of the year.
“With a successful IPL behind us, we are now gearing up for the premier of Aashiqui 2 on July 28. We are going to dress up the movie and play up its romantic quotient in the most innovative way possible,” reveals Neeraj Vyas, executive vice-president and business head at SET Max.
Vyas realises that having big-banner movies is only half the job. The channel is in the process of developing a marketing campaign for its movie premiers and screenings.
Max is putting its money on digital and is evolving ways to best use the medium for promoting films. It started doing so with Yash Chopra's swansong Jab Tak Hai Jaan, which premiered on Sony Max on June 2. Apart from the regular spots on the channel during the IPL, the channel also encouraged audience members to tweet about the movie's screening and displayed the tweets live as a ticker on the channel during the movie.
When asked about the cost of acquiring these movies, Vyas maintained a 'no comment' stance. Sources in the sector said the channel spent upwards of Rs 250 crore on this acquisition spree.
“Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani (YJHD) is part of a three-movie deal, sold along with Student of the Year and Gippi at Rs 45 crore. If you take just YJHD, it would be valued at Rs 30 crore, considering the box office has now done Rs 180 crore. It would have fetched Rs 50 crore if sold now. Lootera would have been acquired at Rs 15 crore, Shootout at Wadala for around Rs 22 crore and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara for Rs 27-30 crore,” informs an insider on the condition of anonymity.
From television sets to hoardings to railway platforms, choreographer and director Farah Khan was seen instructing people to enjoy the thrill of the IPL to the fullest with her signature dance steps.
The tournament in itself provided some nailbiting entertainment, with close finishes in the first week itself. Add the fact that India has just come back from a series with rivals Australia, where the latter got thrashed by the home team.
According to sector estimates, the tournament recorded a nearly 30 per cent rise in advertisement revenues this year as compared to IPL-5 last year.
Experts say the dropping of ad rates for sponsors and spot buys did the trick for the property, taking this year’s ad revenue to around Rs 850 crore.
“This season for the IPL has been very good for Max, specially when last year was not too great. It has dropped rates for sponsors and spots and that did work in their favour to quite some extent,” opines Anamika Mehta, chief operations officer for Lodestar-UM.
IPL-6 was telecast on three channels — SET Max, Sony Six and SET Max HD. The feed on Sony Six had commentary in Hindi, mainly to woo audiences in the LC1 (areas with a population of 100,000 or less) markets since the audience measurement agency started reporting these areas.
“Even with the inclusion of LC1 markets and discrepancies in reporting of television measurement arising from digitisation, the property managed to clock an average rating of 3.0 TVR. I feel its a great success. We are now looking at taking this momentum forward at SET Max with a spate of hit movies for the rest of the year,” says Vyas.
SET FOR THE YEAR
- SET Max bagged satellite rights for Ashiqui 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani, Shootout at Wadala, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara, Krissh 3, Ek Thi Daayan and Lootera
- Industry sources said the channel spent more than Rs 250 crore for acquiring rights to these movies
- The channel is also in talks with Yash Raj Films for its slate for the rest of the year