Television

Balaji Telefilms eyes regional expansion; seeks local partners

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MUMBAI: Even as the promoters have upped their stake in the company in the light of Star selling its 26 per cent stake, Balaji Telefilms Limited (BTL) has set sight on the regional television programming space for expansion.

The production house, which recently wrapped up the seventh season of Nach Baliye on Star Plus, plans to launch as many as 10 shows in Bengali and southern languages. Moreover, in order to break into the regional space, BTL is also eying tie-ups with local partners.

“Our plan is to have three – five shows each in Bengali and Southern languages by the end of FY2016,” the company said in its annual report.

This apart, BTL is also mulling launching a few of its Hindi shows in regional languages. The first of these would be the telecast of the Zee TV show Kumkum Bhagya, on Zee Bangla. At the same time, the production powerhouse is also eyeing tie-ups in the south, which will yield three to four shows.

It may be recalled that in December 2014, BTL had entered into an alliance with the Kolkata-based Chhayabani to form Chhayabani Balaji Entertainment and create distinctive, contemporary and clutter breaking television content for Zee Bangla.

Also under consideration is the plan to launch its celebrity sports reality show Box Cricket League in the regional space. At the same time, BTL has set a target to launch six new shows in the Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) space this fiscal. While plans are underway to launch a comedy show on the lines of the Great Indian Laughter Challenge, BTL is also readying a high concept fiction show for Star Plus.

With audiences patronizing the Balaji brand, the company’s key focus is to improve its bottom line during FY2016.

“We aim to be more process-driven, rather than personality-driven. With changing dynamics of the industry, we are aiming to capitalise our capabilities in making high-concept fiction and non-fiction shows. To begin with, we are coming up with a high concept, high fiction show for Star TV. We are confident of the ratings of our new shows, especially reality based shows,” the company said.

On the movies front, BTL has a strong pipeline of movies lined up for FY16 and FY17.  With aspirations to become the number two entertainment studio going forward, the production house has in its kitty 8 – 10 films like Azhar, A Flying Jatt, Suspect X, Naatak, and Bhool Se Naam Na Lo Pyaar Ka, among others.

Not ignoring the fast-developing digital space, BTL is also in the process of creating its own IP and genuine B2C content to tap the burgeoning platform.

That said, BTL seems poised to spread its wings and fly even more so now with BTL group CEO Sameer Nair, armed with his business acumen, adding extra stars to the creative prowess of Ekta Kapoor.

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