UTV plans to merge UTV Interactive with itself, as it is unable to sustain the subsidiary as an independent entity. UTV was floated as a separate company with the expectation that it would raise funds for itself.
UTV realised that there is no independent way to fund an interactive business at this stage. The company has dropped plans to invest in broadband till last mile cable operators are ready to offer such content on their systems. Its experiment with a small cable operator to offer sharkstream.com broadband content in the western suburbs of Mumbai failed, after an initial trial run.
According to the company sources, UTV Interactive will not be able to get enough advertising revenues to sustain its original plans for B2C portals. The plan is to use the group synergies and exploit the different divisions of the group to sell Internet content.
The Gujarati language portal, kemcho.com is almost dead, as it has not been able to make video alliance with anybody for aggregating broadband content. The Tamil portal, tamizhatamizha.com repurposes content for broadband use mainly from the UTV acquired channel Vijay TV. But it serves only the Singapore market through sharkstream.com. In India, broadband has found no takers.
UTV Interactive had disbanded the content teams of the language portals. The company will continue with its content sales and aggregation activities but by minimising its resources. UTV has sold $150,000 – 200,000 worth of content in the last 18 months.