New Delhi: News Corp’s Star India Pvt. Ltd and Bangalore-based entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrasekhar have teamed up in southern India’s media and entertainment market.
Star India said on Friday it had formed a joint venture (JV) with Chandrasekhar’s media and entertainment company, Jupiter Entertainment Ventures Pvt. Ltd.
Growth plans: Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Entertainment is looking at buying an English news channel and a regional newspaper. While Star will hold a majority stake in the venture, named Star Jupiter Entertainment Television Ltd (Star Jupiter), the venture will also pick up a majority stake in Chandrasekhar’s Asianet Communications Ltd (ACL).
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ACL runs general entertainment channels in Kannada (Suvarna), Telugu (Sitara) and Malayalam (Asianet, Asianet Plus). Chandrasekhar will continue to run his news ventures, which include news channels in Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil, under Jupiter Entertainment. Indian laws do not allow foreign entities to hold more than 26% stake in news and current affairs ventures. Hence, the news venture has been retained under Jupiter Entertainment, fully owned by Chandrasekhar.
A Jupiter executive said the company was also looking at acquiring a national English news channel and a regional newspaper. “We are in talks with some existing national news channels and aim to acquire a leading running channel soon,” claimed K. Sanjay Prabhu of Jupiter Ventures.
For Star, the deal replaces its partnership with content producer Balaji Telefilms Ltd, under which the duo had announced the launch of several regional channels primarily focusing on the south India market. Star’s existing channel in Tamil Nadu, called Vijay TV, will now be part of the new JV.
“South India represents the next big growth story for Indian television. With this strategic partnership, we should be able to capture this growth opportunity,” said Uday Shankar, chief executive officer, Star India, in a statement.
News Corp. also owns ‘The Wall Street Journal’, which has an exclusive content partnership in India with Mint.