Apart from launching a direct-to-home (DTH) service this year, Kalanithi Maran has also plans to launch three channels with an investment outlay of Rs 1.2 billion.
The first to come up will be a kids channel, a genre Maran's Sun network has so far no presence in. Though launched in Tamil first, it would be later extended into the other southern languages. The plan is to launch the kid channel in a month's time. Sun TV Ltd plans to invest Rs 400 million in the channel.
Sun TV Ltd will also launch a sports and a documentary channel this fiscal. The strategy is being worked out for the sports channel. The focus will be local sports with some strategic alliances. The investment planned is Rs 400 million on each channel.
Sun TV Ltd, meanwhile, is considering various instruments including private placement to bring down the promoter holding in the company to a maximum permissible limit of 90 per cent within six months. After the merger of Gemini TV and Udaya TV, the promoters' holding in STL has increased to 93 per cent with Maran having a slice as large as 89 per cent.
Sun TV Ltd 's authorised share capital is being increased from Rs 1 billion to Rs 2.25 billion to accommodate the fresh issue of shares following the merger. Besides complying with the listing guidelines, this would provide for capitalisation of reserves in future if any.
STL is going to see significant growth in subscription revenues this fiscal with Sun TV raking in Rs 600 million from cable distribution alone. The flagship Tamil general entertainment channel went pay in December.
For Maran, the second half of the year will be spent in launching DTH digital satellite television services with Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks as a 20 per cent partner. His privately held company Sun Direct is receiving an investment of up to $166 million (around Rs 7.47 billion) from South Asia Entertainment Holdings Limited (SAEHL), a wholly owned unit of Astro. The joint-venture's peak funding is estimated to be $670 million, spread over the first five years of operation.
Source : Indiantelevision.com