Buoyed by the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL),
Multi Screen Media (MSM) is on an expansion mode. The company
is likely to launch its Hindi music channel on 1 September
and is in advanced talks to gobble up regional broadcaster
ETVs entertainment channels for a whopping Rs 22 billion.
Sony Mix will launch as a pure music channel even as MTV and
Channel [V] have repositioned as youth channels with non-music
content forming an important element of the mix to widen the
audience base and attract a larger pool of advertisers. The
back-to-back music format has found success in ratings but
opening up a strong revenue stream has been a constant struggle.
We have got the government approval and will be launching
Sony Mix very soon, says MSM chief operating officer
NP Singh, while declining to reveal the exact date of launch.
Sources, however, say MSM is looking at launching Sony Mix
on 1 September. The music channel space is heavily cluttered
but Sony believes its network strength will allow it to leverage
Sonys regional story is waiting to unfold as it has
decided to adopt the acquisition route. The central plot in
this expansion drive is the acquisition of ETV and the valuation
is broadly settled but due diligence is on, it is reliably
Though Network18 Group had shown interest, Sony is more
aggressive as it has the other parts of the entertainment
chain in place. The revenue success of the IPL has given the
company an enormous confidence to invest and expand in India.
Network18 Group still has to work on the other pieces such
as a Hindi movie channel. But for a deal of such size, nothing
can be final till it is signed, says a source familiar
with the development.
The Ramoji Rao-owned Eenadu TV (ETV) consists of a bouquet
of 12 regional channels.
distribution joint venture with Discovery, MSM Discovery,
will wait to see how the Star-Zee company, Media Pro Enterprise
India, shapes up before deciding on what course of action
it should adopt.
is too early to take a call on whether we need to consolidate
with Sun18 or other bouquets. We will decide on what approach
to take only after Media Pro swings into deep action. When
we had Colors in our bouquet, Sony Entertainment Television
was clocking under 100 GRPs. Now Sony is in close contest
with Zee TV for the third spot and Sab also has grown remarkably
well, says MSM Discovery president Rajesh Kaul, while
declining to comment on other issues.