The proposed merger between Balaji Telefilms and HFCL-Nine Broadcasting has come under a cloud with the Jeetendra-promoted production house expressing concern over the deadlock between Doordarshan and Channel 9 on the prime time 7 pm to 10 pm slot. The merger stipulated that Balaji would supply at least seven hours of television software each week to Channel 9. Besides, shows produced by Nine Broadcasting were to be made available to Balaji for adaptation to Indian audiences.
The delay in the merger has also been attributed to the uncertainty over the renewal of Channel 9’s 7 pm to 10 pm slot on DD Metro. Nine has asked for at least a five-year contract while DD is willing to offer an 18-month contract. At this stage, Star, Sony and Zee have expressed their interest to acquire this prime time slot.