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More TV channels from UTV
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#1
This year’s agenda: More TV channels, 12 movies and a host of new media initiatives.

The smile on UTV Group chairman Ronnie Screwvala’s face has become broader these days. And there is good enough reason for that. UTV posted a net profit of Rs 40 crore in the April-June quarter of this financial year against a loss of Rs 32 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Buoyed by the performance, Screwvala is now stepping on the gas.

BROADCASTING BUSINESS
While the four TV channels – UTV Bindass, UTV Movies, UTV Action and UTV World Movies – now contribute a quarter of the group’s revenue, the group is planning to increase the share of the broadcasting business further by launching more specialty channels.

Screwvala says, "We have identified new specialty genres that have a tremendous scope. Like UTV Bindass, which is unlike any youth channel, we have chosen to focus on specialty channels which will appeal to the younger (15-35 years) Indian audience."

While Screwvala says some of these channels will be launched this year itself, he is tightlipped on the exact genres or the number. These new channels will work as "low capital-employed start-ups."

"UTV Action, where we dub popular Hollywood movies in Hindi for a wider base of audience, has managed to break even in one year. How many specialty channels around can claim that feat?" Screwvala asks.

For all its new launches, UTV is targeting to break even or aim for delivering positive EBITDA in 18 months. Additionally, every new channel will have a 360-degree revenue potential from its existing business arms like web, digital or on-ground.

The strategy has worked so far. UTV’s broadcasting business has achieved 100–125 per cent growth year-on-year on advertising and subscriber revenues. Of the projected Rs 220 crore revenue for FY10-11 (up 100 per cent from around Rs 110 crore in FY09-10 excluding syndication), UTV has already locked in Rs 150 crore.

FILMS BUSINESS
UTV’s film business too has an ambitious agenda with 12 movies releasing this year. "We could have done 15-20 films but we chose to invest in only those that promise a judicious business. We have controlled costs on all fronts as there’s no need to throw money around," Screwvala says. He believes that the price correction that happened in 2009 should continue as that alone can ensure that star prices and production costs deliver better returns on investments.

Siddarth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, attributes the good show to the group’s marketing abilities that ensure higher box office returns and also help in pre-selling a film’s rights so that the bottomline can be derisked. Kapoor and his team had successfully pre-sold the satellite and music rights of UTV’s Rajneeti for Rs 22 crore. The film went on to rake in Rs 35 crore as net box office collections in its opening weekend (which is equivalent to approximately Rs 50 crore gross box office collection.)

Kapur and Screwvala are confident that this year’s three of the top five films at the box office – "if not 3 out of 3"– will be made by UTV. "When you are twice the size of your nearest competitor, it is easy to march on," quips Screwvala.

NEW MEDIA
And it’s not TV channels and movies alone. The group’s interactive arm, UTV New Media, has forayed into celebrity aggregation in the digital space and has tied up with 17 celebrities across cinema and sports. It plans to monetise these digital rights through subscription-based models on mobile, voice and SMS. It is also exploring merchandising, web applications and celebrity-based games.

Under the deal, customers will get to follow their icons on PC screens, mobile phones and hear their voice through the voice blog service. UTV New Media has signed exclusive deals with these celebrities and all of their communication to fans will be routed through the company. While the company will make money through advertisements on the web and mobile Internet, there will be a subscription fee ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 30 on voice and SMS. With around 500 million mobile users in the country, the company aims to have 10-15 million subscribers across a variety of products.

"The market potential for the celebrity business on the digital platform is to the tune of Rs 2,000-5,000 crore. For celebrities, the branding through the new media platform can be bigger than through films," says Screwvala.

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#2
Why all are starting their service in c band?
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#3
The c band transmision has less problems of signals.may be less money to invest per TP.
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#4
Thanks for the update
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#5
U R Welcome bro :up:
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