Sony films to have TV premieres on PIX now | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sony films to have TV premieres on PIX now

It may sound hard to believe since both entities belong to the same group, but Sony PIX had to pitch very hard to get Sony Pictures Entertainment to agree to give it the exclusive television premiere telecast rights in India for all of Sony’s new Hollywood movies released worldwide.

mumbai Updated: Sep 19, 2010 23:11 IST
Anita Sharan

It may sound hard to believe since both entities belong to the same group, but Sony PIX had to pitch very hard to get Sony Pictures Entertainment to agree to give it the exclusive television premiere telecast rights in India for all of Sony’s new Hollywood movies released worldwide.

Sony Pictures’ television premiere rights in India had so far been with HBO, which, according to NP Singh, COO, Sony Entertainment India, is ahead of PIX among English movie channels in India with a 25 per cent market share. PIX has a market share of around 21 per cent and Star Movies has around a 30 per cent share, he said.

“We are paying a huge premium for the rights — higher than what HBO was paying. But this is a game changer for us, which we hope to leverage to displace HBO from the second rank in the category,” said Sunder Aaron, business head, Sony PIX.

The ultimate aim is to be the category leader in India and PIX believes this development will help. In addition to Sony Pictures’ 40-50 big and small films every year, PIX will also chase big films from other studios. It premiered Slumdog Millionaire in India and will soon premiere The Hurt Locker and District 9, all from other studios.

Starting January 1, 2011, it will premiere Sony biggies including Angelina Jolie starrer Salt, Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan starrer Karate Kid, Milla Jovovich starrer Resident Evil, and Spiderman 4 and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Said Singh: “We are very confident that our viewership will go up significantly, so our advertising revenue will also go up. We will be increasing our advertising rates this year, and again next calendar, after we start premiering Sony films.” In spite of enquiring, Hindustan Times was unable to elicit a response from HBO on Sony Pictures’ shift away from it for television premieres.

Aaron said: “Film channels like ours compete on movie titles. We are also going to increase our promotion efforts and budgets. From bettering HBO sometimes in different markets in India, we now hope to better it overall.”