Balaji to aggressively tap overseas markets

MUMBAI : Balaji Telefilms, which recently sold telecast rights of 1000 hours of software from its library to an Indonesian company, plans to aggressively target the overseas market this fiscal.

The company has previously sold regional language software to outfits in Malaysia, South Africa and Sri Lanka for telecast on local terrestrial and satellite channels. However, while the earlier deals were struck on sporadic requests from the overseas firms, the Indonesian deal is the first where Balaji decided to go all out and solicit buyers for its library. 

COO Rajesh Pavithran who was present at the Asian Television Forum in Singapore, says the response was more than enthusiastic. "The buyers were amazingly well informed about our wares than we expected," he says. Pt Menara Media Sakti, the company that lapped up 1000 hours of Balaji's software with an option of using any of the five Hindi serials offered, will be allowed one time telecast plus one natural repeat on satellite / terrestrial channels beaming in Indonesia only. Subsequently, the rights will revert back to the company. The serials offered to Menara included Kabhi Souten Kabhi Saheli, Itihaas, Bandhan and Padosan. 

Balaji also plans to get into international co-productions, but Pavithran is loath to reveal more at this stage. The company has, in its 2800 hours of library software, Tamil and Telugu serials like Kudumbbam, Kulaaa Villaku, Pavitra Bandham, and Kavyanjali. 

The company has however put on hold its plans to venture into the regional markets of Kerala and West Bengal as planned earlier. Balaji will now tap these markets only after the World Cup. While Star is yet to officially announce its plans to go ahead with Kalki, the children's fantasy show to be made by Balaji, Pavithran is confident that the Sunday morning show will shortly debut on the channel.

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