US-based STV Networks to invest Rs 30 billion in film biz

MUMBAI: US-based media company STV Networks, which has a presence in areas of filmed entertainment, television, set top boxes, theatres, radio, magazines and newspapers, is planning to pump in a corpus of Rs 30 billion (Rs 3,000 crores) in the film business.

The areas that the company is looking at are production, distribution and exhibition. Its game plan is to acquire single screen theatres and distribution rights of films along with making a foray into the film production space in India. Talks are on to ink joint ventures with directors and producers alike to make films.

Apart from making acquisitions in India, STV Networks is also looking at expanding its base in markets like the USA, UK, Canada and China amongst others.

Spearheading the company’s India operations is veteran Indian independent film distributor Inder Raj Kapoor, who is also a director in STV Networks. Kapoor has been a film distributor for more than 20 years and has worked closely with film producer Sajid Nadiadwala.

Speaking exclusively to, Kapoor says, "We have already acquired more than 50 single screens across Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. We aim to own a total of 1000 single screens in India. Additionally, we have acquired 50 screens in China."

The company already operates 700 odd screens in countries like the US, UK and Canada. "We are in talks to acquire more screens in these countries too," Kapoor says.

STV already has more than 3,000 hours of India-based content and 1,500 hours of China-based content. The company has also acquired the rights to over 100 Bollywood movies and is in the process of acquiring rights to some others too.

STV Networks’ distribution network spans across the US, UK, Canada and India. Earlier this year, the company released the multi-starrer Race in Gujarat and Shaurashtra.

The company also has a production group in China focusing on soap operas, reality TV shows and content syndication.