ZEEL to launch its first movie channel in South with Zee Cinemalu

MUMBAI: Having tasted success with general entertainment channel Zee Telugu, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) is expanding its presence in the Telugu market with the launch of a movie channel called Zee Cinemalu.

Currently in test mode, Zee Cinemalu is slated for official launch on 4 September. The channel is in the process of signing agreements with distribution platforms. It will be available in encrypted mode.

Telugu will be the first market in South India where ZEEL will have a movie channel to complement the GEC. Apart from Telugu, ZEEL has a presence in Tamil and Kannada markets through Zee Tamil and Zee Kannada. The only regional markets where ZEEL has a GEC–film channel combo are Bengali and Marathi.

The channel will be targeted at youth above 18 years, with a skew towards male audience. The brand communication will target young urban male viewers. Actor Vidyullekha Raman is the face of the channel.

The consumption trends in Telugu market show that the GECs are skewed towards female audiences, while movie channels are almost equally consumed by men and women. By driving more males to Zee Cinemalu, the broadcaster wants to provide a platform to advertisers who want to target male viewers.

Anuradha Gudur01“Zee Cinemalu will launch on 4 September. The test signal is already on. It is targeted at youth in the 18+ age group. However, the brand communication is targeting young urban male viewers,” Zee Telugu and Zee Cinemalu business head Anuradha Gudur told TelevisionPost.com.

The channel has already roped in five brand partners for the launch. These are Close-up, Panasonic, Fogg Deodorant, Fortune Sunflower Oil and Amazon.

“In the GEC space, Zee Telugu is a formidable player, and now it is time for us to increase our network strength in this market,” Gudur added.

Movie is an important genre, and major networks like Ramoji Rao’s Eenadu Television, Star India and Sun TV Network have movie channels in their portfolio. Star India has Maa Movies, Sun TV has Gemini Movies and Eenadu Television has ETV Cinema.

With the tagline ‘Superhit’, Zee Cinemalu will have seven premieres a week, world TV premieres, movie of the month and simulcast of mega events. Besides, there will be dubbed movies from other languages. It has a library of more than 500 movies.

“We have a good library support with a mix of old, new and latest big titles. Our library has family, action, sentiment, comedy and thriller films, which will provide 360-degree entertainment to viewers,” she added.

While Zee Cinemalu’s content strategy is getting final touches, there will primarily be movies flanked by movie-based shows. In fact, the channel will create differentiated content around its brand face Vidyullekha.

Zee Cinemalu“We have slotted movies based on specific time bands and are giving final touches to the grand launch,” Gudur stated.

In a first, Zee Cinemalu will start premiering movies on the channel. Currently, most channels premiere the movie on GEC for better monetisation. Zee Telugu, however, will continue to air movies.

“There will be no change in the portfolio of Zee Telugu channel,” Gudur informed.

According to her, Telugu movie channels have 12% share of the overall viewership while they take away 15% of the total TV ad revenue in the market.

The channel will be promoted through a 360-degree marketing campaign covering all media including TV, outdoor, print, radio and digital.

Zee Cinemalu has engaged international agency Perfect Tribe UK for developing the channel’s look and packaging. The channel logo was unveiled by Telugu star Chiranjeevi at a star-studded event held in August.

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