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Essel's E-City targets new export markets for TV software

NEW DELHI: A Chinese family viewing a Bollywood movie; a household in Uganda awaiting a cookery programme; a Greek watching a mythological show…All this may seem strange, but E-City Entertainment India Private Limited is working on such possibilities with success.

Part of the Subhash Chandra-promoted Essel Group, E-City Entertainment is emerging as a major outsourcing hub for international broadcasters and production houses. E-City has garnered Rs 24 million in revenues through marketing and exporting of television software and films in the last six months.

E-City Entertainment is making steady progress into the `non-traditional markets’ in countries in North Asia, Europe, South America and Africa by exporting Indian content. The `non-traditional markets’ are considered to be markets other than the US, the UK, the Middle East, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“E-City Entertainment, which primarily targets the family entertainment sector through multiplexes, food courts and games, had set up a new strategic business unit for exporting and marketing of television software and movies six months ago. It has already touched US$0.5 million (Rs 24 million) in revenues through exporting of television software and movies,” said E-City Entertainment business head (films) Ajay Gupta.

“E-City is currently positioned as a one stop shop for all network television channels and distributors in various countries,” Gupta adds.

The company, which has over 10,000 hours of television content and 300 films across various genres, is making inroads to new markets by leveraging the strength of its library along with through study of the psyche of the local audience in the respective nations.

“I have returned from Cannes and we have made decent headway in markets such as China, Japan and Korea in North Asia, Germany, France and Greece in Europe, Kenya, Jordan and Uganda in North Africa and even in Russia. We are also looking forward to Islamic countries as well,” says Gupta.

E-City is expanding its operations through regular interaction at fairs in France such as MIPCOM (to be held from 10-14 October 2003), MIPCOM jr. (to be held from 8-9 October, 2003), MIPTV (89 countries participated, held from 24-28 March, 2003), and NATPE (held from 20 -23 January this year at New Orleans).

Gupta says that E-City would enter into licensing agreements with the broadcasters and distributors for buying Indian content and for this, E-City is focusing on the prime television channels around the world. The programmes and movies are dubbed in the local languages.

“In Japan, we are in touch with biggest local distributor of movies. In Korea, animation is preferred while in China, there is room for family movies, which don’t have much of violence. The most of the countries dub it in their local languages as they don’t prefer subtitles. It (dubbing) is good for us as piracy is rampant,” says Gupta.

E-City is also consolidating its library through its tie-ups with production companies such as UTV, Numero Uno, BR Films and Pritish Nandy Communications and Zee Telefilms for television software and Mukta Arts, Venus, Tips and Zee Telefilms for movies.

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