Sahara taps Boney Kapoor to lift entertainment biz

Sahara taps Boney Kapoor to lift entertainment biz

MUMBAI: Sahara India Pariwar has tapped Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor to lift its media and entertainment business that includes television broadcasting and film production.

This is the first time a film producer is put at the helm of a broadcasting business.

Kapoor replaces Seemanto Roy, son of Subrata Roy, as head of Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd (Somel), sources said. Seemanto is caught up with Sahara‘s other businesses.

Kapoor is designated as director and will try to revive Sahara‘s broadcasting and movie businesses.

Somel‘s flagship channel Sahara One is at the bottom of the pyramid in the Hindi general entertainment channel space. Movie channel Filmy is also at the lower end, behind Max, Zee Cinema, Star Gold and UTV Movies. Firangi, positioned as the ‘world television in Hindi‘, is not even visible.

Since the exit of Avinash Kaul in August 2010, Somel has been without a chief executive officer. In the motion pictures business, Deepak Segal, who moved from Fox Television in late 2009, continues to be the chief operating officer.

After churning out hits, Sahara has produced four flops among its last five films (Kaccha Limboo, 8X10 Tasveer, EMI, De Taali). The lone hit, Wanted, was co-produced with Boney Kapoor.

Kapoor shares a close relationship with Sahara. In 2005, he sold the rights of all his movies to Sahara. Again, in 2008, he sold the rights of his biggest hit, Wanted, and some upcoming films like Milenge Milenge to the company.

In the last 10 years, Kapoor made over 10 films, out of which Wanted, No Entry and Company succeeded at the box office. Some of the flops are Milenge Milenge, Bewafaa, Kyon Ho Gaya Naa, Hamara Dil Aapke Pas Hai, Run, Khushi and Shakti.

"It is an unusual move. Kapoor will have a tough task cut out for him and it remains to be seen what shape the company will take," says a media analyst.

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