Mumbai: Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd, the media conglomerate that operates channels including Colors, Rishtey, MTV and Nick, on Wednesday announced the launch of its new Hindi movie channel Rishtey Cineplex. The mass entertainment offering is the company’s first foray into the Hindi films segment and closes the gap for the media group. It now compares with other media companies such as Star India Pvt. Ltd, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Sony Pictures Networks India which offer multiple movie channels as part of their TV channel bouquet.

“With the launch of Rishtey Cineplex, we are entering the large Hindi movie genre thereby filling a pivotal whitespace and offering a holistic Hindi entertainment ecosystem from our stable. At Viacom18 we are committed to continuously strengthening our portfolio across genres, languages and age groups. Rishtey Cineplex is a key milestone in that journey," said Sudhanshu Vats, group chief executive officer, Viacom18. The new movie channel will bolster the network’s reach as well as allow it to offer a 360-degree solution to its advertisers “enabling optimization of ad inventory across the network", he said.

According to a statement from the company, the movie channel will offer a holistic entertainment experience with multi-genre films, which will include big box office grossers such as Bajirao Mastani, Airlift, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, as well as the yet-to-be released films such as Force2, Kapoor and Sons, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and many more from the network’s library. The channel’s launch will allow the group to acquire new films and offer quality film-based entertainment and big television premieres to viewers.

“This launch has been on the cards for a long time now. But what has perhaps forced the company to expedite the launch are the recent BARC ratings which show a dramatic growth in this segment among male as well as female audiences. Earlier, the mindset was that Hindi general entertainment channels are better than film channels. However, new data, especially over the last six months, has shown tremendous growth, and by that virtue tremendous opportunity. Considering that all the big boys, Star, Zee and Sony, already have this offering, it was only a matter of time that they joined in," said Shashi Sinha, chief executive for IPG Media Brands.

“We have scripted a great success story for brand Colors with it being extended into regional languages and English entertainment. Each of these channels has helped us cater to an intrinsic viewer demand. We are now all set to give impetus to the brand Rishtey, with the launch of our exclusive Hindi movies channel Rishtey Cineplex that will help us fortify our Hindi entertainment portfolio. With the best in films and entertainment lined up, we are confident that we will be able to strengthen audience affinity with Rishtey Cineplex," said Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, Colors and Rishtey.

Rishtey Cineplex marks the extension of Viacom18’s portfolio which already operates successful Hindi general entertainment channels such as Colors, Colors HD, as well as regional entertainment channels such as Colors Marathi, Colors Gujarati, Colors Bangla, Colors Kannada, and Colors Oriya and English entertainment channel Colors Infinity.

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