Television

'K' show rate hikes: Balaji expects 8% rise in turnover

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MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms Ltd. is targeting a 7-8 per cent growth in turnover to around Rs 3.1 billion this fiscal on the back of a rate hike on four of their popular TV serials and an increase in programming hours.

The investment in capital expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 250-300 million. "We are adding two more studios this year. The capex is also towards equipments and sets," a source in the company says.

Of the four serials that will come up for an upward rate revision, three are expected from Star India and one from Zee Telefilms. Balaji makes a prime time show, Kasamh Se, for Zee TV.

The paid up capital for Balaji's wholly owned subsidary company at Sharjah will be Rs 40 million.

The company is making a serial for ARY which will go on air by the first week of November. "The serial will air four days a week. If demand for our shows increase, we will invest in ramping up our facility. We don't expect revenue inflows getting reflected this fiscal," the source adds. The subsidiary company will produce serials aimed specifically at the Middle East market.

Commissioned programming in the year is eexpected to increase by 7-8 per cent while exposure in the sponsored category will reduce. Revenue from the southern market is also estimated to reduce from Rs 320 million to Rs 200-250 million. Balaji has an exposure on the Sun Network channels.

"The average revenue realisation per house will see a further rise this fiscal," the source says. Balaji's realisation per hour of commissioned shows rose from Rs 1.7 million to Rs 2.2 million for FY06.

The company is adopting a cautious approach towards movie production. It will not be releasing any movie this year and is taking the co-production route for the next three films. "We are taking safer bets. There is no pressure on us to take risks. Our bottomline will stand even stronger this year," the source says.

Balaji Telefilms saw a robust growth in FY06 with topline increasing 43 per cent to Rs 2.8 billion. Net profit rose 44 per cent to Rs 594 million.

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