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Cinema TV to launch into crowded Hindi movie space

Cinema TV, a new 24 hour Hindi film channel, will launch free to air across three of India's direct to home (DTH) satellite TV channels on 1 June.

Currently available on Reliance Digital TV, Airtel Digital TV and Videocon d2h, negotiations are also reportedly underway between Cinema TV and the DTH arm of public broadcaster Doordarshan, DD Direct Plus.

The new film channel is the first foray into television by the Dehradun-based Softline Creations, according to Indian Television.

"We have a library of 800 movies comprising across genres like drama, action, comedy, thriller and classic," says head of Cinema TV, Hitesh Sabharwal, whose career has included spells with Zee TV, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Times Group and Astro Group.

The library includes titles such as Don, Rang De Basanti, Murder, Tangewala, Quickgun Murugun, Humse Badhkar Kaun, Wardat, and Sanam Hum Aapke Hain.

Much weight is being placed on the screening times of each film by the channel, as Sabharwal claims, "every movie has an appropriate time to watch. Through our channel, we aim to bring the family together by catering to the tastes of each member through several genres of movies."

The new channel faces stiff competition in India's Hindi movie space from the likes of Zee Cinema, SET Max, UTV Action, Star Gold, and the recently launched OK Movies - also from the Star TV stable.

"The concept behind launching a new movie channel is that cricket and movies are two staple diets of Indian viewers. Though there are other players in the market, we will sustain in this cut-throat competition as we are creating a bank of movies and promoting appointment viewing amongst our TG," Sabharwal told Exchange4Media.

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