Raj TV bets big on films; forays into film production

Raj TV bets big on films; forays into film production

Author | Judy Franko | Thursday, Jul 31,2008 8:31 AM

Raj TV bets big on films; forays into film production

Raj Television Network Ltd has entered into full-fledged film production. The company has entered into strategic tie-ups with film director TP Gajendran and producers like AM Ratnam among others to produce full-length feature films. Raj TV Network will produce films under its own banner, the cost of which will be borne by the company. The company has also tied up with others to act as executive producers and complete the film projects on a first copy basis.

“At the moment we are producing about 10 movies,” said Suresh. Iyer, CEO, Raj TV Network.

It has become prohibitively expensive to buy mainstream Tamil films. Moreover, it is pointless to make huge investments in movies today as one is not sure whether the movie would be a hit or a flop. Iyer added that there were also constrains like a window period to telecast the film on television, but “films produced under Raj TV banner belongs to our library and we can air the film whenever we like because we own the property. That gives us lot of freedom. So, over time we will be able to show at least one brand new film every month, which will give us an edge over others”.

Raj TV is investing Rs 5-6 crore on each film. The company is also planning intensive marketing activities around its films. “Even if three of the 10 films that we produce succeed, we will get our investment back,” Iyer further said.

He believes that this is the way to go for television channels. Of the 80-odd films released in Tamil, only about 20 per cent succeed while rest of the films bomb at the box-office. So, why should one want to speculatively get into that business? Iyer reasoned, “We thought it was better to produce films than to spend so much money on acquiring the television rights of such films.”

Raj TV also plans to hold several talent hunt shows and give winners of those shows a chance to act in films produced under its banner. “Through the talent hunt shows, we will say that here is the hero for this particular movie and we are looking for the heroine and vice versa. Film and television are inextricably linked to each other and by getting into film production, we are in a unique position to bring in a lot of synergy between the two mediums,” Iyer added.

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