Raj TV to produce movies

Chennai Oct 8 South Indian television channel company Raj Television Network Ltd is chalking out plans to get into movie production.

Monday, October 08, 2007 | 5:10:08 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Chennai Oct 8 (IANS) South Indian television channel company Raj Television Network Ltd is chalking out plans to get into movie production.

The Rs.385.64-million company will start its movie production work next April.

According to M. Ravindran, director, programming and technical, the company plans to sign up leading actors in Tamil movies.

'Tamil movies that feature leading actors would cost around Rs.70 million. We can do a business of around Rs.100 million,' said Ravindran.

For Raj Television, the purpose of getting into movie production is twofold - broaden its revenue stream and retain the movie rights.

'The general entertainment television channel market is very competitive. It is becoming difficult for television channels to acquire and retain movie telecast rights. In the case of own movies, we need not worry about satellite rights while we'd be happy with the additional revenues,' Ravindran added.

Presently, the Raj Television group owns satellite rights for 2,900 Tamil movies.

Raj Television will later get into producing movies in other South Indian languages.

Speaking about capital outlay and revenue projections for the proposed 24-hour Tamil news channel, Raj News Tamil, he said the company would be using its existing infrastructure. The expenditure will be mainly on human resources.

'There is no accurate data as to the revenue potential for a pure-play Tamil news channel. As Tamil speaking populations are spread throughout the world and our channels are available overseas and also in India, we hope to net around Rs.30-40 million per annum from this free-to-air Tamil news channel,' he said.

The one issue for the company is that its channels are not telecast in the prime band by Sun Cable Vision, the major multi-system operator in Tamil Nadu, which is part of the Sun Network.

'We are eagerly waiting for Tamil Nadu government's cable television company to start its operations,' Ravindran said.

According to him, the company is going slow on its direct-to-home (DTH) telecast plans. 'We are now talking with Sun DTH to telecast our channels,' Ravindran disclosed.

Raj Television's company secretary Lalit Kumar Mohanty said the company's music channel Raj Musix will be officially launched last week of November this year.

He said the company is targeting revenue of Rs.600-650 million for the current fiscal.

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