Dec 29, 2008

Business - King Khan forays into TV production

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani

NEW DELHI: Shah Rukh Khan-promoted Red Chillies Entertainment is foraying into television production by January 2009. The company is in talks with
several general entertainment channels and has finalised an agreement with NDTV Imagine headed by Sameer Nair.

An email sent to SRK elicited no response. But an executive with the company said: “We are in the process of setting up our TV division and forming a serious business plan. We are in talks with several entertainment channels for making TV software. In addition, we expect to announce several agreements with various channels for developing shows.” A company spokesperson refused to comment on investment details.

SRK picked up a stake in BAG Glamour early this year in his personal capacity along with wife Gauri Khan. BAG Glamour is a subsidiary of BAG Films, under which the company launched an entertainment channel. NDTV Imagine CEO Sameer Nair confirmed the development.

“We were planning a show with SRK for the past 4-5 months.We have now finalised a comedy sitcom. This show will mark Red Chillies’ foray into TV content production. It will go on air from mid-January and would be aired on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.” The show, named Ghar Ke Baat, would be shown on a weekly basis from January next year on the general entertainment channel.

In the past, SRK has said that Red Chillies Entertainment would invest Rs 100 crore to produce three big-budget movies. The company also has an extensive VFX studio. Earlier this year, he bought Indian Premier League’s Kolkata team for a little over $75 million along with Juhi Chawla and her husband Jai Mehta. Bollywood stars have usually been seen hosting shows or appearing on reality shows as special guests to promote their movies. Popular actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have hosted several game and reality shows.

However, this will be the first instance of a Bollywood star entering TV content production. Akshay Kumar is the only other big Bollywood star looking at a slew of entertainment business prospects. He is also looking at equity participation.

Most movie production companies like UTV and Reliance Entertainment among others get a significant chunk of their revenues producing TV shows. As per industry estimates, the TV content industry is close to Rs 1,000 crore and growing steadily at 18% over the past five years

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