MUMBAI: It began with a bang around eight years ago but for some time now, the movie channel Filmy from the Sahara One Media and Entertainment bouquet, has been whimpering and struggling to even be seen. The management of the Sahara group has been preoccupied with larger problems related to the Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
And it is looking at strategically exiting from directly managing its media business. The first indication of this is the deal, which sources say, it has struck with Mumbai-based TV production company The Entertainment Hub. Under the arrangement, the latter reportedly will be managing Filmy on a contractual basis. The Entertainment Hub, which is part of the Snip Entertainment Group, will reportedly be responsible for Filmy’s content scheduling, distribution and also for revenue generation. The deal also envisages the spoils being shared with the Sahara group.
Titles such as No Entry, Guru, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Umrao Jaan, Dor, Gangster, Khamoshh, Fareb, Jo Bole So Nihaal and few other feature films have had their TV premieres on Filmy. The movie channel has also showcased films such as Ghajini, Singh Is King, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.., Golmaal Returns, Bhoothnath, Sarkar Raj etc.
Despite Big films, the channel has not managed to get much traction in TV homes, as the Sahara Group has cut off all supplies of distribution and marketing money, thus ensuring that its reach and branch recall has hit rock bottom. “Amongst movie channels, it probably ranks even below the last channel,” says a media observer.
Hence, the Entertainment Hub which is a supplier of TV shows such as Haunted Nights and Piya Ka Ghar Pyaara Lage on Sahara One has its work cut out for it, thanks to the competitive TV distribution environment that is prevalent today. Sister company Snip Entertainment has interests in content syndication, TV production and music licensing.
Apparently, the Sahara group is in conversation with a large media group to manage even Sahara One. An announcement is likely to be made in March sometime, if sources are to be believed.