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Two weeks on, 'Raashee' to get a DTH release
MUMBAI: The Ashutosh Gowariker rashee may not have worked in favour of the box-office or the critics but UTV Motion Pictures is sure making a serious effort to tap any audience that may still want to skip critics’ views and give the movie a shot.

So, in just two weeks after they released What’s Your Raashee, it has signed up with Tata Sky, Airtel, Dish and Big for a Direct-to-Home (DTH) release this Friday. The confidence to go for such a short window comes on the stupendous success of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, which released on DTH, four weeks post the theatrical release and still has so far notched close to a lakh of pay-per-view audience (PPV).

“In fact, all the eight films we have released on DTH have shown us some great numbers and we are very excited about “What’s Your Raashee” as it is being aired very soon after a theatrical release. This would be a first for a big movie,” says UTV’s Amrita Pandey, VP, International Distribution and Syndication.

With approximately 12 million DTH homes across four players (with PPV), there is a huge audience which the exhibition industry cannot reach via a theatrical release.

Besides, with a 12-week cycle needed for the prints to reach all the centres, DTH offers the fastest route to penetrate a market that was largely untapped. With Rs 50-75 (Raashee is being offered at Rs 75) having become the favoured price band that is becoming acceptable to both film producers as well as DTH players and with window shortening, this platform looks ready to take-off.

For Vikram Mehra, CMO Tata Sky the confidence for Raashee is clear when he says, “Priyanka Chopra is one of our leading actors in the Hindi film industry and any movie of hers is sure to draw a lot of eyeballs. Coupled with a two-week window, I am confident of our consumer base which will log in good numbers.”

Sugato Banerji, CMO, DTH Bharti Airtel, is a bit cautious with the Rs 75 price being his concern. “Two kinds of films work for us, the classic genre which would be the Amitabh Bachchan films from the 70s, (priced between Rs 25-50), and new films which are heavily marketed leading to film which may have bombed at the box-office, doing well on DTH. Or then, niche films like A Wednesday tend to do well. The sweet spot price I would say is Rs 50. What works is word of mouth. Globally PPV is about 3.5 % of your base. Depending on titles, we do 1.-1.5 which is fine.”

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