The signs of changes are visible in the Tamil satellite television channel Vijay TV, with Ajay Vidyasagar of STAR India taking over as the COO of Vijay TV from early last week. Apart from managing the affairs of Vijay TV, he is expected to take care of STAR’s regional channels in South as and when they are launched in future.
Senior personnel from STAR India are coming down to Chennai early this week to take charge of key positions in the areas of marketing, content and distribution, among others.
According to the industry sources, Vijay TV has been constantly making losses and has been bleeding the UTV Group. Despite change in content and the presenting style, the channel remains a distant third.
While Sun TV is the undisputed market-leader, Raj TV is in the second place. As a result, UTV chairman Ronnie Screwvala was looking out for buyers.
UTV opened parleys with STAR India and a deal was sealed three months ago. As per the deal, UTV will continue to own the channel formally, but all crucial functions will be franchised to STAR. These include content, distribution and air-time sales.
The entry of STAR India into the southern regional market is being keenly watched by the industry.