Sony Le Plex HD firms up distribution on DTH and cable networks
MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India’s (SPNI) new English movie channel Sony Le Plex HD, which targets premium audience, is covering ground on the distribution front.
The channel, priced a la carte at Rs 35 per month per subscriber, has found carriage on several direct-to-home (DTH) and cable TV networks.
“Sony Le Plex HD is available on all HD packs of English movie channels. For DTH, we are present on Tata Sky and Airtel. We are also present on large pan-India and regional multi-system operators (MSOs) like DEN, Fastway, GTPL, Incablenet, etc. Our efforts are underway to make it available on Videocon d2h and Dish TV,” said SPNI executive VP business head English cluster Saurabh Yagnik.
Elaborating further on the strategy, he said that the marketing efforts are focused on all metros in the first phase. “In the second phase we will look at towns with more than 1 million TV viewing population.”
Yagnik also noted that advertisers are thrilled to be associated with a channel that offers exclusive content. “The proposition of 52 premieres in 52 weeks resonates well with them as it fills the need gap of fresh, classy and customised content.”
SPNI president Rohit Gupta feels that the move to only have an HD feed is completely justified. “SD is a crowded space. HD, on the other hand, is growing. The new boxes being sold by operators are HD. Operators know that HD channels raise their ARPU (average revenue per user),” he explained.
Gupta added that no other channel in the space had the brand proposition of offering 52 premieres in 52 weeks. “No other channel boasts of this. This is a distinct HD offering. Other channels offer the same fare in SD and HD,” he stated, adding that response from clients has been positive.
“This is a perfect fit for clients given that the channel targets the premium segment of audience. In the next two months we would have done deals. Obviously, the airtime will be less than the 12–14 minutes that SD channels air, as you do not want to compromise on the viewing experience,” he said.
In August, SPNI has launched its second English movie channel Sony Le Plex HD with the tagline ‘Where You Belong’. While Pix targets mass viewers of blockbusters or what the broadcaster calls Casanovas, Sony Le Plex HD targets loyalists. These are people who love both blockbusters and critically acclaimed films like ‘Spotlight’, ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Foxcatcher’.
The new channel joins Star Movies Select HD from Star India and MN+ from Times Network, both of which also cater to the discerning viewer.
Sony Le Plex HD from SPNI has 400 movies in the library. The library has come from SPNI’s deals with studios like Universal, Sony Pictures, Disney and Lionsgate.