ANALYSIS: MEDIA TRACK - Male-biased film channels set to remain strong in the face of video-on-demand

Last week saw the launch of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the second film channel from the Turner Broadcasting stable. Targeting 16-34-year-olds, this is the UK’s seventh movie channel.

Last week saw the launch of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the second

film channel from the Turner Broadcasting stable. Targeting

16-34-year-olds, this is the UK’s seventh movie channel.



Turner Classic Movies is born as the development of video-on- demand

technology begins. However, where on-demand channels will act mainly as

film libraries and are unlikely to carry much advertising, individual

movie channels offer a branded, themed service for a specific

audience.



So who are the target viewers? Sky Premier shows blockbusters with a

broad appeal but Sky MovieMax takes a more kitsch style - 27 per cent of

its viewers are in the 25-34 category. Sky Cinema shows the oldies and

is unsurprisingly watched by the oldies (29 per cent are 45-54).



Turner’s TNT aims at a wide age group, while 41 per cent of FilmFour’s

audience is 35-44.



What is common to all these channels is a male bias. TNT heads the group

with a 61 per cent male viewership while Sky MovieMax has the most even

balance at 51 per cent male. The others fall between these extremes.



According to Peter Berkeley, business manager of commercial sales at

Sky, this male bias reflects multi-channel viewers overall. Most initial

subscribers are males attracted by sport with films being the next

natural step.



The film channels mentioned here currently take a 4 per cent share of

viewing in multi-channel homes. With the advent of full video-on-demand,

however, dedicated film channels may struggle to keep up. Cable

companies NTL and Telewest are both trialling video-on-demand

services.



Dan Brook, marketing chief at FilmFour, believes the British film

channel market is now ’maxed out’ but thinks the sector will remain

robust when full video-on-demand is introduced. ’It won’t kill film

channels. It is more likely to affect video sales than subscriber

figures.’



MediaTel’s database is available at www.mediatel.co.uk. For more

information contact 0207-4397575 or e-mail info@mediatel.co.uk.



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