The popular Telugu TV channel Maa TV has entered a contract with Star India to handover their four channels. Established in 2002,Maa Television Network Limited (MTNL) is a collective of four channels namely, Maa, Maa Music, Maa Movies and Maa Gold.
Serial entrepreneur Nimmagadda Prasad and Telugu film personalities Chiranjeevi, Akkineni Nagarjuna and Allu Arvind, were the joint owners of Maa TV. While Prasad has 65 per cent share holding in the company, Chiranjeevi has 20 percent, Nagarjuna 10 percent and the remaining 5 percent, is held by retail investors.
“Star will acquire all assets of Maa TV including broadcasting rights subject to regulatory approvals. After the approvals, Maa TV will become part of Star network. We do not have any Telugu channel in our portfolio,” Star India CEO Uday Shankar said. “The acquisition fills a vital gap in our portfolio allowing our advertisers targeted access to a critical market,” Shankar added.
This merger will provide Star India access to a huge market as Maa TV is currently enjoying a market share of around 27% and is India’s second largest regional language entertainment space valued at around Rs 2,000 crore. Although there have been no official statements, sources have revealed that the deal has been closed at Rs 2,500 crores.
Nimmagadda Prasad stated, “We don’t want to be unrealistic. When the time comes, it has to be handed over to a bigger, better entity.” Along with all the assets of Maa TV, Sony India will also retain the 500 employees currently working there.