It is official now. STAR is now the sole owner of Vijay Television. STAR's latest acquisition of the remaining 44 per cent stake in Vijay that was previously with UTV Software Communications, has come through an all-cash buyout estimated at approximately Rs 31 crore, informed an official communiqué. Vijay Television provides content for Vijay, a 24-hour Tamil channel, owned by Vijay Broadcasting.
The divestment is in line with UTV's strategy to focus its broadcasting services on its kids' channel, Hungama TV. Now on, STAR will also be the exclusive distributor of Hungama TV, which is slotted to go on air sometime later this year. The channel will largely consist of localised multi-genre programming.
The release quoted Ronnie Screwvala, CEO of UTV, as saying, "Broadcasting is one of the three key drivers in our revenue model for the future and we clearly wish to focus on the kids' arena with Hungama TV."
Reflecting the comments of Vivek Sengupta, Head of Corporate Communications, STAR India, the statement said: "This acquisition strengthens STAR's regional content business. Our increased investment in Vijay TV is a testimony to our commitment to the South Indian market."
"We continue to enjoy three very strong alliances with STAR. We are one of the top two TV content providers for STAR. We have signed an agreement for STAR to distribute Hungama - our kids' channel, and we have a co-production alliance in movies, with projects up to Rs 25 crore finalised and locked in," added Ronald D'mello, Director, Operations and Finance, UTV.
UTV Group is an integrated pan Asian media and entertainment group. The key drivers of the revenue model for the group are television content creation, movie production, distribution and broadcasting. UTV's focus on broadcasting would see the launch of the first ever kids channel-Hungama TV in India with localised multi-genre programming, informed the release.