Television

B4U expects operating profits of $ 2 million this fiscal

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B4U Television Network, which relaunched B4U Entertainment as B4U Movies on 2 October, expects to achieve operating profits of $ 2 million by the end of this financial year from its worldwide operations, CEO Ravi Gupta said today.

Speaking at a press briefing in Mumbai to celebrate the launch of B4U Movies, Gupta said the company was looking at total revenues of $ 20 million this fiscal, with operating costs at $ 18 million.

Gupta said he was targeting a net profit of $ 4 million after amortisation by March 2003.

Referring to B4U Music, Gupta said that the channel had achieved operational profits in the first year itself.

On the issue of the channel's encryption, Gupta clarified that it would not be in January 2001 as initially reported to indiantelevision.com. He said he expected B4U Movies to go pay in the second quarter of 2002.

Questioned as to what was the relationship existing between B4U and jailed film financier Bharat Shah, Gupta admitted that a strategic alliance was still in place. He however pointed out that with Shah still in custody, there were a number of issues that were still to be resolved on that front.

B4U Entertainment was launched on 3 September 2000 but failed to make a mark as a Hindi entertainment channel what with the likes of Star, Sony and Zee carving out most of the market share. B4U Movies will not face such problems because it will draw on its main strength - its library of movies (1,000 films in India and overseas rights to 1,600 films), Gupta says.

The B4U Network is promoted by steel magnate L M Mittal, Kishore Lulla and Gokul Binani, all based in the UK. Lulla is also the promoter of Eros International LTD, the largest overseas film distributor and the first to take Hindi movies to the UK and the US.

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