Star India hopes for a bigger audience for 2016 Oscar livecast3 min read . Updated: 27 Feb 2016, 11:47 AM IST
The academy has come under criticism for the lack of diversity among their acting nominees, this year
Mumbai: Will he? Won’t he? But even as the world mulls over whether Leonardo DiCaprio will finally take his first Oscar home, or not, Star India is hoping that a bigger number of audiences will tune into its channels to watch the live and repeat telecast of the 88th Academy Awards on Monday.
“The Oscars is the most anticipated event in the Hollywood calendar and we are delighted to host it absolutely live for fans in India across multiple screens. We doubled the fan base last year with delivery across television and digital and this year we are excited about airing it on Star Movies, Star Movies Select HD and streaming it on Hotstar with a strong surround plan to build anticipation and take the experience to a whole new level," said Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, Star India Pvt. Ltd.
He has reason to be optimistic. “Culturally speaking, the Oscars have always been a coveted property. Even when you compare it with other western award shows, whether it is the Grammys, the Screen Actors Guild awards or the Golden Globes, it has managed to create more value and stature than any other property," said Ajit Gurnani, managing partner and head (west) ZenithOptimedia India, a media agency from the Publicis Group, explaining that there were several reasons for this.
To begin with, the fact that the award show was televised and structured much like a 120-150 minute movie, with a clear beginning, middle and end, thereby keeping the audience curiosity suitably piqued through the show. As well as the glamour and mystique around the red carpet which lent itself well to discussions online, pr, as well as visual talkability. Moreover, the Oscars had about 24-25 awards as compared to the Grammys which had almost four times the amount of awards. “If you were to ask an Indian viewer, which movie won the picture of the year award (at the Oscars), they were more likely to know that one, as compared to, say, the album of the year."
To be sure, the property has raked in several advertisers, which include Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s S-Cross as presenting sponsor. A ‘powered by’ sponsorship from Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd for Kindle and Motorola’s handset Moto X Force. As well as associate sponsors, namely LIC insurance, India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd’s Yamaha Fascino, CEAT India, Vodafone India Ltd, Kurlon Enterprises Ltd, Epson India Pvt. Ltd for its home theatre, and Procter & Gamble Company for its air freshner Ambi Pur.
According to industry estimates, the title sponsor would have spent approximately between ₹ 1-2 crores, the ‘powered by’ sponsors would have spent approximately ₹ 80lakhs – 1 crore, and the associate sponsors would have spent approximately ₹ 50lakhs – 60lakhs for their association with the property.
Moreover, this year also promises to be different for several other reasons, controversies included. The academy has come under criticism for the lack of diversity among their acting nominees, this year. However, standing at the extreme other end of the spectrum, is the diverse selection of presenters this year, which will include past winners such as Whoopi Goldberg and Morgan Freeman, as well as first-time presenter actor Priyanka Chopra. Moreover, according to a media reports, the producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill were determined to put an end to dull acceptance speeches by ensuring that the nominees submit a list of people they would like to thank in advance. Those names will run across the bottom of the screen, while the winners use their time more effectively to saying something more engaging and entertaining. Not to mention, the close contest, as fans rally behind Leonardo DiCaprio, as he chases an award for his work in the The Revenant, a film that has 12 nominations. DiCaprio has been nominated thrice before for Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Having said that, the Academy Awards are not a vehicle for brands looking to reach large audience numbers. “This is kind of content is very niche. It is not watched by a large number of viewers, so to speak. However, the audiences that do watch it, though small in number (as compared to a Bollywood award show), are loyal, and passionate," said Jai Lala, Jai Lala, head-trading and partnerships, GroupM Media India Pvt. Ltd. Adding, that this property was likely to draw in young, urban, premium audiences and was therefore a good option for brands in the premium and luxury space.
The 88th Academy Awards, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be presented at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, and will be televised live on 29 February on Star Movies, Star Movies Select HD LIVE at 5:30am and repeat at 8:30pm.