STAR and Jupiter Entertainment Ventures has announced the formation of STAR Jupiter Entertainment Television Limited (STAR Jupiter), a joint venture which will tap into the Tamil television market.
Under the agreement and subject to regulatory approvals, STAR Jupiter will become the majority shareholder of Asianet Communications Limited (ACL) which currently broadcasts channels in Kannada (Suvarna), Telugu (Sitara) and Malayalam (Asianet , Asianet Plus). Vijay, the Tamil language general entertainment channel currently operated and owned by STAR , will now come under STAR Jupiter.
A statement from the company says the JV is expected to make additional investments towards developing and launching new channels in South India in the coming months.
The current management team of ACL, including vice-chairman and managing director K Madhavan will continue in their roles under the JV.
Paul Aiello (pictured), CEO of STAR, (pictured) said , “This is a game changing partnership for STAR. It allows us to connect deeply with the rapidly growing South Indian audience by providing compelling television that truly resonates with the viewers there. And by adding the South Indian channels to our extensive portfolio of Hindi and regional language channels , STAR takes a big step towards becoming a truly national broadcaster in India .”
Jupiter’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “I am very excited at this Joint Venture and partnership , which will potentially transform the entertainment television business in India. STAR has impressed me with its commitment to this market, to its consumers and to its partnership with Jupiter. I am sure that this Joint Venture will set new standards and become the pre-eminent provider of entertainment for customers and viewers in the four states of South India.”
Uday Shankar , CEO of STAR India said , “South India represents the next big growth story for Indian television. With this strategic partnership , we should be able to capture this growth opportunity and create a much bigger platform for creative talent that would offer the South Indian a lot more exciting content. The partnership also offers an exciting opportunity to those advertisers who are looking at nationwide reach vehicles and reinforce this with strong regional channels."
Jupiter’s K. Sanjay Prabhu said on the development, “Jupiter, after successfully launching franchises in Malayalam, Kannada and Telegu was planning to get into the Tamil market for some time now. With entry barriers in the Tamil market being extremely high, we had been exploring various opportunities towards this end. The JV with STAR appeared to be the best option.”
He added that they are also exploring the possibility of producing movies for the south Indian market.