Television

Sagar Entertainment to invest Rs 1.4 billion in expansion

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Sagar Entertainment will be investing up to Rs 1.4 billion in expansion. It has also kicked off global vision with the signing of a US $ 4.16 million co-production deal with an Indonesia based company.

The Ramanand Sagar promoted Sagar Entertainment is planning an investment to the tune of Rs 1.40 billion for their expansion projects of setting up a film city at Baroda and also for their foray into the Internet related activities projects. Out of the Rs 1.4 billion investment outlay, the company is investing around Rs 400 million in a state-of-the-art film city in Baroda. The complex is expected to house around 10 studio floors, with the first studio being commissioned as early as June this year. The Sagar Baroda Film City will have an artificial lake, 14 permanent residential cottages and multitude of outdoor locations, not to mention hi-tech post production facilities. ''The facilities are mainly designed to cater in-house for Sagar Entertainment, any surplus or additional capacity will also be available on hire,'' said Jyoti Sagar of Sagar Entertainment.

With regard to the Internet related projects, the Sagars have planned an entertainment based portal, webcasting their programmed software to an already captive worldwide audience, that the group enjoys due to the global successes of its programmes like Ramayan and Shri Krishna. ''Webstreaming would let users the world over download TV like video off the Internet and watch it in the comfort of their homes computers,'' states Jyoti Sagar. ''And though in its infancy stage in India, the technology will mushroom to allow streaming with full length features, all of which would be allowing for downloading with a fee,'' he added. The portal will also utilise the merchandising route to generate revenues for all of their products. And playing a very integral role in fulfilling these global ambitions of the Sagars, would be their new marketing offices being opened up in Dubai, London and New York.

When asked Mr Sagar as to how the company was planning to raise the money for these projects, he refused to divulge any information and only said that talks were on with some financiers for the same. It is also know from sources that any route of financing could be adopted be it debt, equity or private placement. In another major development, the Sagars have also signed a CO-production deal worth around $4.16 million with Parkit Films Group of Companies for producing a 104 episode serial. ''The serial is essentially a costume drama based on a Persian Classic, the serial is being produced with the International audience in mind and will be simultaneously telecast in India and Indonesia,'' said Mr Sagar. ''Reflecting the collaborative effort, the serial will boast of an Indonesian-Indian cast and crew, with locations in Bali, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and India, adding to the international flavour.'' Headed by Raam Punjabi, Parkit Films Group of Companies are amongst the largest film and TV production houses in Indonesia's, with their programming software being telecast on a multitude of channels within the Asian footprint.

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