Thursday, April 19, 2007

Star, Balaji in JV for regional channels

Star TV India will set up a joint venture with Balaji Telefilms to take on the regional channels . The venture will launch regional language entertainment channels.

The joint venture, 51 per cent of which will be owned by Star and 49 per cent by Balaji, will be headquartered in Chennai and will look at launching general entertainment channels in Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam in two to three years, Balaji Telefilms informed the Bombay Stock Exchange today.

Star India has 26 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms, the production house that produces leading soaps for Star Plus and other Star channels. Star already has a Tamil channel called Star Vijay.

Under the joint venture, the two companies will combine their resources to infuse Star Vijay with the company content. Also, Balaji Telefilms will produce exclusive content for all the proposed regional language channels.

Sun TV is the market leader in most of the southern states and has a bouquet of 20 channels. The Eenadu group too has over 25 channels in different regional languages, but has a dominant market presence in Andhra Pradesh.

Balaji Chairman Jeetendra Kapoor said, “We are excited about this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Star. We believe that combining the expertise and resources of the two companies will enable us to create the leading regional language TV network in the country. I am confident that our investment in this joint venture will generate significant value for our stakeholders.”

Balaji Telefilms has announced that its Managing Director and Chief Executive Shobha Kapoor has relinquished her role as CEO. Kapoor, however, will continue as the managing director. R Karthik, president, strategy and business development, will be the new chief executive.

Source : Business Standard

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