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Tata Sky looks to cash in on Slumdog craze
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MUMBAI: The betting odds are in favour of a Slumdog Millionaire win in the coveted Best Picture award category in the run-up to the Oscars, which is just a week away. And cashing in on this is Tata Sky that has signed an exclusive deal with Fox Star for its showcase, offering to air both the Hindi and English versions of the multiple award-winning film on its DTH platform over three days, beginning February 20.

To attract more eyeballs, it has also priced the movie at Rs 25 versus the usual Rs 75-100 band. “The movie has widely caught the imagination and the price is like a reward to our regular patrons,” Tata Sky CEO Vikram Kaushik said. Despite the movie’s huge theatrical release and rampant piracy, Mr Kaushik is positive going by past showcase experiences.

Citing the example of Krissh, he said in spite of offering it on Tata Sky months after the movie’s theatrical and home

video releases, the DTH company got 100,000 viewers. “Movie watching has its own rules, some may have watched a bad print, some may have missed it, some may just want to see it again, so I am sure it will be the same with Slumdog. I would easily say at least 50,000-100,000 viewers equally split between Hindi and English,” he said. Going forward, Mr Kaushik added the potential for showcases is huge with deals with Warner Bros, Fox, UTV and B4U, and many more in the pipeline. Fox Star CEO Vijay Singh said: “It was just that we signed the SET deal before this one. The initiative was carved out much before.”

According to Mr Singh, besides the revenue opportunity, Tata Sky also presented the right profile of consumers and a perfect synergistic platform. “The learning curves from this initiative will be interesting as its well timed,” added Mr Singh. The studio, which released 350 prints between English and Hindi, has so far earned Rs 29 crore. Singh said is as much as last year’s hit Rock On and much beyond their expectations.

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