Joining the league of American television networks NBC, ABS and CBS, India’s UTV World Movies has also pledged its support to the global charitable programme Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Unlike other initiatives, this programme calls for the support of the international media and entertainment industry to help raise funds and create awareness.
Every year, artistes from Hollywood, the global music fraternity, athletes and many other dignitaries come forth to perform on TV, for SU2C. The networks associated with the cause then broadcast these televised programmes, and the proceeds of the telecast are presented to the programme to fund research. This year, UTV World Movies will broadcast a live celebrity performance in India on September 11 at 5.30 am, and the repeat telecast will be at 9pm on the same day.
Mansi Sapre, programming head, UTV World Movies says, “We have an association with NBC Universal for our content for movie channels. We also do a lot of cause driven content, so when we were asked if we wanted to take the programme live in India, it was ideal.”
Indian associations such as the Indo-American Cancer Institute and Research Center, Indian Cancer Society and Tata Memorial Hospital have come forward to support the Indian channel’s initiative. According to reports, SU2C received a lot of flak for associating a serious cause like cancer to something trivial like the glamour industry. But Dr Balakrishna, director, Mumbai Cancer Registry, Indian Cancer Society disagrees. He says, “Only the media can spread information to so many people at one time. Using them for a good cause is not trivializing the issue in anyway.”
Supporters who have joined the broadcast and will be seen performing, include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Banks, Kathy Bates, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Chiklis, George Clooney, Lisa Niemi, Randy Jackson, Rob Lowe, Will Smith among others. The musical guests include Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Neil Diamond, The Edge, Delta Goodrem, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum, Leona Lewis and more. The last telethon broadcasted by ABC, NBC and CBS in 2008 led to a collection of over $100 million in one evening.