Star open to talks on payment terms to producers

Responding to reported rumblings of discontent over payment terms among the producers of some of its hit serials, Star TV has said it is open to negotiations.

We're in touch a number of producers at any given time and obviously terms will vary from one to another depending on various factors, Peter Mukerjea, CEO of News Television India, the Indian arm of Hong Kong-based Star TV, said.

His comment came after attention was drawn to a Business Standard report that some independent production companies were demanding a hefty cut of the profits earned by Star from their programmes.

Balaji Telefilms, promoted by former Bollywood star Jeetendra and producer of two of the top serials on Star Plus (including the superhit family soap opera, "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi") confirmed that it was renegotiating programme rates with the channel.

When pressed for details about the talks with Balaji, Mukerjea said he couldn't say offhand what level the discussions had reached.

Meanwhile, in another development, reversing its earlier decision to drop co-sponsors, Star has decided to have sponsors back on KBC.

"We have struck deals with six sponsors," Sumantra Dutta, executive vice-president (sales and marketing) said on Tuesday. "The new sponsors are Pepsi, Cadbury, Raymond's, Kinetic, Everest and Godrej," Dutta added.

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