STAR Group and Balaji Telefilms have formed a joint venture to create a network of regional language general entertainment channels initially targeted at the fast growing South India market. The joint venture with 51 per cent owned by STAR and 49 per cent by Balaji, will be headquartered in Chennai.
Under the joint venture, the two companies will combine their resources to infuse Vijay TV with Balaji content. There are plans to launch a Telugu channel by the last quarter of the year. Channels in Kannada, Malayalam and other key regional languages will be launched within the next two to three years.
STAR will be responsible for the operations of these regional channels. Balaji Telefilms will produce regional language shows exclusively for these JV channels.
Paul Aiello, CEO, STAR said, “We are thrilled as it marks an important step in the acceleration of our expansion in the regional markets. Balaji is a production powerhouse in the country with incredible accomplishments in producing top-rated shows. This new partnership agreement allows us to tap into its regional language production capability and have immediate access to a wealth of programming that is compelling and relevant to the viewer. I believe we have forged the perfect partnership to expand into these fast growing and important markets.”
Jeetendra Kapoor, Chairman, Balaji Telefilms, said, “We are excited about this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with STAR. We believe that combining the expertise and resources of the two companies will enable us to create the leading regional language TV network in the country. This new partnership also helps realise our ambitions to go upstream by taking a stake in the broadcast business.”