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The Disney Star television network will host the satellite premiere of SS Rajamouli’s period drama RRR this August in three regional languages on its channels Star Suvarna (Kannada), Asianet (Malayalam) and Star Maa (Telugu).

“Offering high-quality entertainment is core to our content strategy at Disney Star. RRR resonated well with audiences across the world and we look forward to further strengthening our content portfolio with the addition of exciting movies and entertainment shows through the year," a Disney Star network spokesperson said in a statement.

To be sure, mass-market films have been managing impressive satellite premieres in recent times as people work and study from home. Last year, Varun Dhawan-starrer Coolie No.1, heavily panned by viewers and critics alike after its launch on Amazon Prime Video, had clocked over one crore impressions on Zee Cinema, according to trade website Box Office India. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

Movie channels contributed 24% to total television viewership and were the most viewed genre after general entertainment in 2020, according to a recent Ficci EY report. Amid the pandemic-induced mobility curbs, with people mostly home, TV audiences haven’t had a chance to watch these films in theatres, said broadcast industry executives. Small-town, mass-market audiences are also more likely to switch to films on TV rather than take to content on streaming platforms.

Television film channels were expected to see a viewership jump of 10-20% as more people stayed at home during the second wave of covid infections last year coupled with the fact that a fresh slate of movies was also available. Movie premieres especially on holiday or festive weekends can bring advertising for broadcasters who may be able to recoup one-fifth of their investment in a single telecast.

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