Balaji & Star ink JV for regional channels

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms Ltd has entered into a joint venture (JV) with the Star Group to create a bouquet of regional language general entertainment channels initially targeted at the South India market. The joint venture, 51 per cent owned by Star and 49 per cent by Balaji Telefilms, will be headquartered in Chennai.

Balaji Telefilms will invest upto Rs 600 million (Rs 60 crores) for acquiring a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture. Under the joint venture, Balaji Telefilms will create content for Vijay TV. The joint venture also targets at launching a Telugu channel by the last quarter of the year. Channels in Kannada, Malayalam and other key regional languages will be launched within the next two to three years.

Star will be responsible for the operations of the joint venture channels, whereas Balaji will produce regional language shows exclusively for the joint venture.

Balaji Telefilms chairman Jeetendra Kapoor said, “We are excited about this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Star. We believe that combining the expertise and resources of the two companies will enable us to create the leading regional language TV network in the country. This new partnership also helps realise our ambitions to go upstream by taking a stake in the broadcast business. I am confident that our investment in this joint venture will generate significant value for our stakeholders.”

Additionally, Balaji Telefilms managing director and CEO Shobha Kapoor has stepped down from the position of CEO. The company has promoted president – strategy and business development R Karthik to the position of CEO. However, Shobha Kapoor will continue as managing director.