Sun TV to premiere movies directly on TV channel, without theatrical release

Sun TV Network to expand presence in OTT business, and premiering movies directly on TV
Sun TV SunNXT to premiere movie
Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the media and entertainment industry used to work. The continued closure of cinema halls to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has forced media and entertainment companies in India to find newer ways to reach film viewers.

With the increasing cases of the virus, it does not look like we will be seeing them in theatres anytime soon. Many film producers are moving towards over–the-top (OTT) platforms, digital streaming media services, to release their movies.

Sun TV Network, a big player in satellite media is still lagging its presence in the over-the-top (OTT) segment with exclusive content in its app Sun NXT. Sun TV Network launched the digital content platform in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages in June 2017. But during this pandemic period it couldn't complete with the other growing OTT platforms to premiere the new releases on it's platform.

Recently, Sun Network, which grabbed the satellite and streaming rights on Venkat Prabhu's 'Lockup' had to cancel the deal to have the makers release the film directly on Zee5. This is because the OTT players have to pay a premium price for premiering direct release of the movie on their platform.

Sun Network usually premieres big blockbuster films for the first time during festive days such as Diwali and Pongal, but for the first time, they seem to be left without a choice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meantime, Sun Network has given the approval for two films to be made, which will go straight to TV premieres for the festive seasons in the upcoming calendar. Apparently these films will be directly released on Sun Network's OTT platform SunNxt. First one being the Tamil remake of Kannada film 'Mayabazar', which kick started shooting last week. This Prasanna, Shaam, Ashwin starrer produced by Sundar C is directed by Badri. Second film is the unannounced rural entertainer set to be directed by M Muthaiah.

This is not new for Sun TV to directly premiere movies on its satellite channels. When there was no wifi and OTT platforms were decades away, Sun Pictures's first original production Radikaa's 'Siragugal' was premiered in 1999.

Sun network's production wing Sun Pictures have three big projects in its kitty - Annaatthe with Rajinikanth, Vijay-A.R. Murugadoss film and the sequel to one of Rajini's biggest blockbusters, Chandramukhi 2.


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