Star, UTV to sign deal on Vijay TV handover Wednesday?

Star India and Ronnie Screwvala's UTV are set to formalise a deal to hand over control of the Tamil language channel Vijay TV it owns to the Rupert Murdoch-promoted company on Wednesday, industry sources say.

When contacted both Screwvala and Star India CEO would only say that nothing had been finalised as yet and that there would be a joint press conference in Chennai on Thursday explaining all issues relating to Vijay TV.

The UTV group acquired Vijay TV from the UB liquor group in 1999 for Rs 180 million. According to reports, the stock holding in Vijay TV at present is: Founder Promoters - Ronnie Screwvala & Co hold 51 per cent, News Corp 12 per cent, Warburg Pincus 6 per cent, Mitsui Japan/ILFS & IVC / International Equity Partners / United Breweries 4 per cent, other institutional investors including Schroder's, etc 2 per cent and with the public 25 per cent.

Whatever may be the current status of ownership, Star virtually runs the channel anyway with it reportedly controlling programming, content, distribution and airtime sales. Business daily Economic Times reported that Star has appointed Ajay Vidyasagar as chief operating officer to manage the channel's affairs.

Sources say that what has been delaying a formal inking of the deal till now is working out what exactly that stakeholding structure should be. Star has already put in an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Bureau (FIPB) for Vijay TV, sources say.

According to current indications, after the papers are signed on Wednesday, Mukerjea and Screwvala will be flying down to Chennai to explain things to senior personnel at Vijay TV what exactly the new dispensation would entail. Mukerjea, however stated he was going with Screwvala to Chennai for the press conference, nothing else.

Vijay TV?s acquisition is apparently part of Star?s long-term plans to enter the regional broadcasting market. Mukerjea has at one time been quoted as saying that "expansion in the South through Vijay TV was synergetic." Interestingly, at a press conference called at the end of June to celebrate a year of Star Plus becoming a completely 24-hour Hindi channel on 3 July, Mukerjea was quite categorical that a southern foray was not on the agenda at present.

If the deal does go through as expected, it could well make things difficult for rival Zee which has announced the takeover of Asianet Bharati as well as Asianet Kaveri ahead of renaming the channels Alpha Tamil and Alpha Kannada as the southern language additions to its Alpha regional bouquet.

In Tamil Nadu, the pecking order in the channel stakes is Sun TV (way ahead), Raj TV, Vijay TV and Asianet Bharati. It is the fight for the No.2 spot that should prove interesting viewing in the coming months.

Latest Reads
Eros Now Partners with Celcom; Consolidates Distribution in Malaysia

Eros International Plc (NYSE: EROS) (“Eros”), a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, announced today that Eros Now, its digital over-the-top distribution service

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
TV Today Network subsidiary receives IT demand notices

TV Today Network Limited (TVTN) has informed the bourses that its wholly owned non-material subsidiary India Today Online Private Limited (ITOPL) has received separate demand notices from the Income Tax department.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
BBC Studios India and Mindshare’s I Can You Can wins two Silvers - Best Branded Content and Best Media Strategy at the Emvies 2018

BBC Studios India and Mindshare, India’s largest media agency, announced that it has won two Silvers at EMVIES 2018

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
NDTV launches India’s first mobile-only portrait live channel

New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has launched India’s first mobile-only vertical live channel with the name NDTV HOP Live. India has nearly 432 million internet users and this number is growing at a rate of 4-8 per cent, according to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunication (TMT)...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Movies NOW, Romedy NOW and MNX celebrates this festive season with a special programming line-up

Celebrating the spirit of this festive season, Times Network's English Entertainment channels

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Running Wild with Bear Grylls’ on Discovery channel gets extraordinary traction from advertisers

The premiere of new series Running Wild with Bear Grylls on Discovery and Discovery World HD

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
Woh Talent Hi Kya Jo Kisi Ke Kaam Na Aaye; COLORS Announces the Launch of India’s Got Talent

Don’t let talent go to waste advocates COLORS’ flagship reality show – Maruti Suzuki Arena presents India’s Got Talent powered by Vaseline and Frooti as it returns to wow viewers with some mind-boggling acts in its eighth edition.

Television TV Channels GECs
Lizol tops chart; P&G makes comeback in BARC week 40

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has released its data for last week’s top advertisers and brands between 29 September-5 October 2018. The data is a reflection of top 10 advertiser and brands across genre on Indian television (U+R) : 2+ Individuals.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star India’s PKL draws higher sponsorship revenues in season 6

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) auctions saw six players command over a crore, offering further proof of the property’s rising popularity in terms of viewership and advertising interest. If we look at the viewership, the live telecast of PKL season 5 garnered 1.6 billion impressions with a target...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories