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NEW DELHI : There's good news for lovers of French, Spanish, Arabic and other foreign language films. & Privé HD, the English-language pay television channel owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd will curate foreign films for Indian audiences starting March under a new category, Privé World Box Office.

Ranging from romantic dramas and comedy to fantasy and adventure, these movies will premiere every Friday.

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“The consumer appetite for world-class movies transcending languages, has been witnessing a rise by leaps and bounds across consumption platforms. Various insights further suggest that viewers are more accepting of content in foreign languages with subtitled content being a preferred choice," Prathyusha Agarwal, chief consumer officer, ZEEL said in a statement.

"The evolving preferences of our consumers assures us of our understanding of the non-conformist viewer and going a step beyond in enabling our viewers to discover great content beyond mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood, leading to the inception of Privé World Box Office."

The film that Zee plans to air include the latest instalment of French action franchise, Taxi 5, Norwegian monster movie, Ragnarok, French love story, Jeux D’enfants (Love Me If You Dare) besides Arab Idol (Arabic), Fonzy (French), The Farewell (Mandarin), Headhunters (Norwegian), Utøya: July 22 (Norwegian), Pain And Glory or Dolor Y Gloria (Spanish) among others.

To be sure, Zee's effort to woo English-speaking audiences comes at a time when this segment of the affluent urban viewer is moving online to video steaming platforms.

Several genre such as English language entertainment, infotainment and lifestyle have been particularly hit after the covid-19 crisis as stuck at home Indians moved online in search of entertainment during the lockdown.

However, the shift of viewers of English language entertainment had already moved to streaming platforms as the new tariff order brought in by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) made it difficult for such channels to survive as they could no longer be bundled other mass market channels. As their reach contracted, so did their advertising revenues and some of them even discontinued India operations. These include Sony Pictures Networks India that shut down AXN and AXN HD and Warner Bros that put an end to HBO SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition) linear movie channels in India and Pakistan, as well as the WB linear movie channel in India.

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