Television

Chandra's New Growth Recipe

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/02/23/Subhash%20Chandra.jpg?itok=B_cIMQvV

No one seems to be knowing this piece of wisdom better than Zee Telefilms chairman Subhash Chandra. The doughty businessman is fighting back. And how. Over the past six months, the goateed entrepreneur who brought Hindi satellite entertainment television to India, has unveiled a new strategy: growth through alliances, acquisitions and mergers.

First, he did a distribution deal with Turner Broadcasting late last year, wherein he brought in the Turner channels - HBO, CNN, and Cartoon Network - adding tremendously to the Zee Network subscription bouquet pushed to cable TV operators.

He followed that with an inconceivable deal: he acquired ETC Networks, which owns the rights to ETC Punjabi and ETC Music, and the telecast rights to Holy Sikh prayer, Gurbani, in the Golden Temple. He paid Rs 252.15 million for a 68.32 per cent stake in ETC. Chandra expects a major foreign exchange inflow through subscription revenues from this deal. Zee estimates say it has 150,000 subscribers each in the UK and the USA and another 50,000 in Canada. Working with a subscription rate of about $ 20 a month that sources close to the deal say will be the charge for etc Punjabi, that gives a potential earning of $ 84 million a year.

When you are pushed back to the ropes, you should pull up your defences, pause momentarily before you launch into a counter against your opponent. That‘s the piece of advice many a boxing coach may have given their pupils.

Then yesterday Chandra announced another deal which once again sent reverberations through the industry. He said Zee Telefilms was going to acquire a large stake in animation and film company Padmalaya Telefilms. The cost 590 million for a 64.3 per cent stake in PTL‘s holding company, Padmalaya Enterprises Pvt Ltd (PEPL).

Industry sources say the network has just about started out on its acquisition trail. Other deals are planned to achieve his goal of being a vertically integrated media company.

Let‘s take a look at what he has achieved so far in his vertical integration plans:

Entertainment Broadcasting: Zee Telefilms, with its channels in Hindi, English, and regional languages.

Cable TV: Siticable, which commands a subscriber base nationally of about 3 million homes.

Films: under the Zee Telefilms umbrella, which had a super success in Gaddar - Ek Prem Katha and now under the Padmalaya Telefilms umbrella.

Theme parks: Entertainment complexes in major metros under the E-Citi brand, and the Water Kingdom and Essel World brands.

Publishing: An interest in Asian Age.

Education: The Zed Learning initiative.

Retailing: Agrani iSwitch stores, which will retail everything from mobile phones to convergence devices, to computers to even addressable systems.

Manufacturing: Essel-Shyam, which is in telecom and V-Sat Equipment Manufacture.

Real Estate: Essel Construction

As recently as mid-last year, the Chandra was being dismissed of as a player who had been outmaneuvered by his rivals and had misread the market. His big convergence, expansion and fund-raising plans had fizzled out. His satellite telephony project was left on the shelf, thanks to the US government sanctions on US companies sharing information on sensitive areas such as satellites

His mother channel Zee TV was looking tacky, losing marketshare consistently to rivals Star and Sony. The Zee Telefilms share price had dropped to a low, and his associations with certain stockmarket operators were being examined under a magnifying lens.

The company looked weak on the human resources front, with employee morale being on a low. Siticable was reportedly losing subscribers to rivals. Report after report in the media had highlighted how Chandra had lost his Midas Touch and that he was facing an uphill task.

But Chandra did not let things weigh him down. He admitted he had gone wrong in a story to a leading business magazine. And he went about trying to right the situation. He brought in a new CEO Sandeep Goyal, who launched a glut of new programmes in a hurry which failed to find favour with viewers. But Chandra did not let this faze him either.

Along with Goyal, he has been gradually restructuring Zee Telefilms, bringing in new people to tackle any weaknesses. Among them: TV producer and writer Vinta Nanda, who is heading the ideation team to help bring back Zee TV to its glory days. Additionally, the network has reworked its regional language bouquet, making Channel IDs more contemporary, with modern programming that seems to be working with viewers.

Clearly, Chandra is looking at adding more value to Zee Telefilms. He has for some time being talking about bringing in a global media firm in as a strategic partner into Zee Telefilms, even if it means acceding control. Zee Telefilms today looks a lot more mouth watering than it did a year or two ago, because of the acquisition route that has been followed. There is real value in the deals he has struck, unlike earlier there were only plans. Chandra has acquired good products, brands at reasonable prices, and hence cut down on set up time and costs.

It‘s not as if his entire growth map has been completed. He has to fill the following holes:

* Publishing, promotion and merchandising of successful television shows.

* A theatrical chain (which could be filled through the E-Citi chain).

Unconfirmed reports are that he has more or less agreed with AOL-Time Warner to sign up for a DTH venture for the Indian market. Additionally, there is likely to be the deal with the same global behemoth, wherein it could take a stake in Zee Telefilms. The visit of AOL-Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin and the meeting he is having with him in Delhi today are indicators that things are moving ahead between the two.

Some see the deal - when it happens with AOL-Time Warner - as a sellout by Chandra. But they could not be more wrong. Chandra is among those businessmen who are unlikely to disappear over the horizon. Expect him to lead from the front.

All these indicators are exciting investors and analysts. Analyst after analyst that indiantelevision.com spoke has changed his recommendation on the Zee Telefilms stock from sell to hold or buy.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/16/Baavle_Utaavle.jpg?itok=roHnkzhD
Sony Sab strengthens primetime slot with 'Baavle Utaavle'

Sony Sab is all set to launch its new show, Baavle Utaavle, #Gufu Ki Visfotak Love Isstory, produced by Director’s Kut production house Rajan Shahi. The show will go on air on 18 February, every Monday to Friday at 10 pm.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/16/TV9_Bharatvarsh.jpg?itok=lzr3B7fe
TV9 enters Hindi heartland with TV9 Bharatvarsh

TV9 News Network is all set to launch its national Hindi channel, TV9 Bharatvarsh, next month in Delhi. The channel is ready with its largest news studio in the country, which will use the best of AR and VR technologies, and BOT news tracker in its presentation.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/16/Chrome_DM.jpg?itok=Vzh5LDxy
Tariff order implementation: Pay channels' connectivity drops ranging from 61% to 0.5% across genres

The ongoing flux in the broadcast sector due to the new TRAI tariff order implementation has had a significant impact on the connectivity of pay channels in the country. After the new regulatory framework kicked in on 1 February, pay channels’ connectivity witnessed a drop ranging from 61 per cent...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/15/Rupay.jpg?itok=X8M0HO9f
Pro Volleyball League attracts 14.3 mn viewers in week 1 on TV

The first leg of RuPay Pro Volleyball League (PVL) which happened in Kochi witnessed 14.3 million viewers sample the league on Sony Pictures Network (SPN) India.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/15/mtv.jpg?itok=raQzzzLI
MTV associates with Brave Combat Federation for 'Brave 20'

MTV, India’s youth brand, is all set to bring the fight series MTV Brave 20 in association with the Brave Combat Federation presented by Mercury Sports Entertainment on 17 February at 9 pm.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/15/bag.jpg?itok=WdVZEAML
Q3 2019: BAG Films Television and Radio Dhaamal profits up

The Anurradha Prasad-led BAG Films and Media Ltd (BAG Films) reported 38.1 per cent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q3- 019, period or quarter, under review) at Rs 48.67 crore as compared to Rs 33.94 crore in the corresponding prior year...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/15/zee.jpg?itok=paGRPClV
Comcast, Sony in the running for ZEEL stake?

In the latest financial results, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) MD and CEO Punit Goenka mentioned that the company has narrowed down its search for a partner to divest up to 50 per cent stake in the company, an announcement it made in November 2018.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/14/9x-jalwa.jpg?itok=dTEgvuDY
9X Jalwa launches Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE

MUMBAI: 9X Jalwa, the Bollywood hits music channel by 9X Media, has created Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE, a unique property that showcases the songs of Bollywood stars from past to present. Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE will feature stars such as Aamir Khan, Aishwariya Rai, Kajol, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan,...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/02/14/Murtaza-Ahmadi.jpg?itok=4zZ7uTuy
CNN meets the young Lionel Messi fan from Afghanistan who is now a Taliban target

In January 2016, a photo of young Murtaza Ahmadi went viral, thanks to his makeshift version of an Argentine football shirt of his idol Lionel Messi. The photo earned the child two autographed shirts, a signed football and a meeting with the footballer in Qatar 11 months later.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories