In a rather silent development, Fox Television Studios, the television production arm of Fox, has set shop in India. It is a joint venture between Fox Studios and STAR Entertainment. Deepak Segal, EVP, Content & Communication, STAR Entertainment, would head Fox Television Studios India Pvt Ltd. For the time being he will be EVP for the new outfit and report to Sameer Nair, CEO, STAR Entertainment. Consequently, Shailja Kejriwal and Harsh Rohatgi take on Segal's role at STAR Entertainment.
Explaining more on Fox Television Studios, Segal said, "It is a STAR India Network and Fox Studios LA venture in India. Right now, I would be reporting to Sameer Nair and then the work relationship would directly be with the LA offices."
In a content restructuring that STAR had announced in August 2005, Shailja Kejriwal was deputed with further authority as Senior Creative Director for the STAR channels and Harsh Rohatgi was made General Manager, wherein he took care of the business part in content. Segal explained that this division would continue for all the STAR Network channels now with Channel [v] being the only exception.
At present, Fox Television Studios operates from the STAR office. However, Segal divulged that this was a temporary arrangement. His team is also in place with Sameer Sabnis coming in as VP, Production, and a finance person is being sourced.
Fox Television Studio would be creating content, not just in the conventional sense but also for emerging platforms like advertiser funded programming, mobisodes, webisodes and so on. The entity would also be working with other production houses. Said Segal, "You can get a creative idea from anywhere. What you basically want to control is the production and we would do that even if we work with other production houses."
He elaborated that this model would be an opportunity for smaller production houses that faced infrastructural handicaps in creating content. He was quick to inform that with this move, Fox Television Studios became one of the content suppliers to STAR Entertainment but not the only one; STAR would continue to work with the other production houses with which it has relations.
At the same time, while initially Fox Television Studios would have to create content for only STAR, going forward it could be for any channel. "There is a three-year period that has to be observed before we can do that," said Segal.
Incidentally, STAR Entertainment officials have been working on the model for the last six months and the handover is now complete. "We have been discussing this for a long time now and everything was done as planned, which is why we didn't see any kind of an overnight shift."