UTV considers sale of its home video division

MUMBAI: UTV Software Communications is in talks with various companies for a complete sell out of its home video division – UTV Home Video. The price that the company is seeking for its Hindi and English library is in the range of Rs 100 – 120 million (Rs 10 -12 crores).

Sources inform Businessofcinema.com that UTV is expecting Rs 1 lakh 25 thousand each for its English movie titles in the catalogue and in the Hindi movie catalogue Rs 50 lakhs each for regular titles and Rs 10 million (Rs 1 crores) each for bigger films.

This dealing is for UTV’s home video catalog consisting of more than 40 movies including the company’s home productions like Swades, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Life… In A Metro, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal etc and also Miramax movies like Pulp Fiction, Sin City, Hamlet etc. Also under negotiation is the future slate of 17 UTV Motion Pictures films from Kismat Konnection onwards, which released in July.

On being contacted by Businessofcinema.com, UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur refused to comment initially. However, on being probed further he said, "We are in talks with various home video players. However there is no information to share right now. We will be in a position to announce something after a few weeks."

Kapur however refused to divulge the reason for the sell out.

Sources add, "The home video industry has evolved to become a space for experts and any company needs dedicated time, effort and money to drive sales and growth in the home video business. It is no longer a small, side business and huge revenue potential can be exploited. In such a scenario, one can either sell their content to the experts or become an expert themselves, depending on their business interest."

Of late Sony BMG also licensed 14 movies from its library to Moser Baer citing a similar reason. Sony BMG director marketing Shanujeet Bhujbal had said that the home video market has changed drastically due to the new price points and nobody knows how this segment will shape up in the future.

A few months ago, after rolling out Jodhaa Akbar music on the newly-formed UTV Music label, UTV shut the division too and pre-sold music rights of its forthcoming movies to T-Series. This trend of pre-sales has not been seen in the home video category in India before as the parameter of a movie’s box office performance plays a pivotal role in fixing the home video sales price.