Star Gold in revamp mode; makes big buys

MUMBAI: Looks like Star India's Hindi movie channel Star Gold is finally about to see some serious glitter. With movie telecast rights acquisitions in high overdrive, Star has aggressively signalled its intent to take on rivals Zee Cinema and SET Max this year.

Star has bought Vashu Bhagnani's library at an estimated cost of Rs 150 million. Bhagnani's movies include Silsiilay, Shaadi No 1, Coolie No 1, Hero No 1, Om Jai Jagadish and Deewanapan.


The mega movies Star has bought this year are Virudh and Paheli. For the Amitabh Bachchan launched AB Corp movie Virudh, the acquisition price is around Rs 40 million, industry sources say. Paheli, produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, attracted a price tag of around Rs 50 million.

"We are revamping and ramping up Star Gold. We have acquired Bhagnani's library, Virudh and Paheli. We will be aggressively buying movies to push Star Gold this year," says Star India chief operating officer Sameer Nair.


Star's strategy is to pull movies out of its Hindi entertainment channel Star Plus which has Amitabh Bachchan hosted game show Kaun Banega Crorepati running at prime time on weekends. Movies will premier on Star Gold. "Star Plus has no place for movies as on weekends we have KBC on the channel. We will pump in big movies to push Star Gold," Nair says.

With Star Gold getting attention this year, the stage is being set for a big fight among the movie channels. Besides Zee Cinema and Max, Sahara is planning to launch a movie channel later this year while B4U Movies is working out a revival strategy with infusion of funds.


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