labels: entertainment, raj television network
Raj TV to produce moviesnews
Venkatachari Jagannathan
09 October 2007
Chennai: The Rs.38.5-crore turnover Raj Television Network Limited will soon start producing Tamil movies.

The company is chalking out its plans in this connection and the movie shooting is expected to start sometime next April.

For Raj Television, which owns satellite television channels like Raj TV, Raj Digital Plus, Raj Musix and Raj News - the last two are to be officially launched soon- the movie production plan is sort of a backward integration.

Speaking about the company''s movie plans M Ravindran, director (programming and technical) says, "We are cautious in our movie plans. We would like to cast only the leading actors in our movie."

Continuing further he says, a Tamil movie with leading actors would cost around Rs7 crore and could be sold for Rs10-11 crore.

Queried about the logic for the television channel company to get into movie production, he responds, "The general entertainment television channel market is becoming very competitive. Getting the movie rights for satellite transmission is becoming very difficult. With our own production we can beef up our content library and also see higher revenues."

According to him, the Raj Television group owns satellite rights for 2,900 Tamil movies.

Meanwhile the company is shoring up its core business viz the television channels by launching new ones. Next month it will launch two new channels - a 24 hours Tamil news channel and a music channel.

First to go on air will be the Raj News Tamil. As per the plans the company will launch the channel on 14, November 2007 and Raj Musix will follow it on 23 November 2007.

For Raj Television the news channel will not require much capital expenditure, as the company would leverage its existing infrastructure. The only major expenditure head for the news channel will be the human resources.

According to Lalit Kumar Mohanty, company secretary, the company has budgeted around Rs25 lakh per annum towards human resource cost for the news channel.

Ravindran is hopes the news channel would get the company between Rs3-4 crore net of all expenses per year.

"Tamils are spread all over the world and our channels are beamed across the globe. The news channel is a free to air channel and we are confident of achieving our revenue targets," says a confident Ravindran.

The news channel will be the second pure play Tamil news channel, the first only being Sun News belonging to Sun Network. Interesting the market is getting heated with the imminent entry of Jaya TV with its own 24 hours Tamil news channel sometime early next year.

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

For the current fiscal the company is targeting revenues of Rs60-65 crore.

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Raj TV to produce movies