Zee acquires telecast rights to 'Kyon Ki...' & 'Garam Masala'

MUMBAI: Kyon Ki... on Zee TV? No, we are not talking about the 'mother of all soaps'. Zee Telefilms has acquired the telecast rights to the Diwali releases Kyon Ki... and Garam Masala, both directed by Priyadarshan.

Zee Cinema will premiere the movies within the next four to eight months.

According to industry estimates, Zee has paid Rs 40 million each for the rights of the two movies. While the Bollywood trade has already labelled Garam Masala a hit, Kyon Ki..., produced by Sunil Manchanda and Mukesh Talreja, is struggling at the box office. Garam Masala is a Venus Films production.

Zee Cinema business head Bharat Ranga, while refusing to enter into any discussion on acquisition costs, did confirm to that the two films were with his channel and that they would be premiered in the next four to eight months. "Presently, both the movies are having their run in the theatres. Hence, we are not planning anything at this moment," Ranga said.

On Zee's movie acquisition strategy, Ranga divulges, "The last big movie we acquired was Aitraaz in 2004. We don't believe in going after all the big releases. After Aitraaz, these are the two big acquisitions we have done. In between, we had acquired some low-profile movies as well as old flicks. But they had been delivering us good numbers. For example, the (flop) Amitabh Bachchan starrer Ganga Jamuna Saraswati recorded 2.8 TVRs when it was telecast recently."

This development could well point to a move on Zee's part to get more aggressive on the acquisitions front. More so with rivals like Star going into overdrive to revive its as yet still struggling movie channel, Star Gold. The channel premiered one of Pryadarshan's hit comedy movies Hulchal this September, which is why the news that these two films had gone to Zee Cinema came as a bit of a surprise. Other mega movies Star has bought this year are Virudh, Black and Paheli.

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