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After Telugu, Shop CJ plans to enter other South markets

MUMBAI: Shop CJ Network, the equal joint venture (JV) between Korea’s CJ O Shopping and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, is planning to launch three more regional home shopping channels in South India in the next one year.

Once the South India expansion is completed, the company plans to penetrate deeper with dedicated regional-language channels for key markets like West Bengal and Maharashtra.

The TV home shopping network had launched a Telugu channel named Shop CJ Telugu for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The channel is available on leading cable TV platforms in the two states. It is also eyeing carriage on direct-to-home (DTH) platform Sun Direct, which has strong regional footprint in the South.

N ramakrishnan star cj“We are planning to launch channels in all the four South markets. We have launched the Telugu channel. We also plan to launch channels in Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. We are looking at launching these channels in a one-year horizon,” Shop CJ Network chief financial officer N Ramakrishnan told TelevisionPost.com.

“South is the first priority for us. Once we have completed Southern expansion, we will aggressively go for other languages as well. If there were no constraints, we would also want to have a Bengali as well as a Marathi channel.”

TelevisionPost.com had earlier reported that Shop CJ was planning to expand into South with regional channels. Raj Kundra- and Akshay Kumar-promoted Best Deal TV was the first to venture into the South with the launch of Tamil home shopping channel Big Deal TV.

The company is following the thumb rule of launching channels catering to specific markets depending on the potential, size and the number of households in those markets. “In India, each state is like a different country, so there is potential to have one channel per state,” he added.

Talking about the Telugu channel, Ramakrishna said that the company is targeting Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh markets by the next fiscal.

“We are eyeing revenue of Rs 250 crore from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the first full year of operation which is FY17,” he stated.

Ramakrishna expects the new channel to break even in the first year itself because it is an incremental business to the existing business. “Anything incremental doesn’t have that kind of fixed cost, which is why the return would be faster,” he contended.

SHOP-CJ-LogoShop CJ is eyeing 40 per cent growth in turnover this fiscal to cross Rs 1,200 crore (Rs 12 billion) compared to Rs 850 crore (Rs 8.5 billion) in the last fiscal. “With existing business, we will be able to generate higher topline,” Ramakrishna averred.

The company currently owns and operates two channels, namely Shop CJ and Shop CJ2 in Hindi. The launch of the Telugu channel has taken the channel count to three. It currently airs 70 hours of content from its broadcasting facility.

Shop CJ, which was earlier known as Star CJ, was rebranded due to change in ownership that saw Star India selling its 50 per cent stake in the company to Providence Equity for $63 million. Reaching over 6.5 crore (65 million) households, Shop CJ claims that it currently caters to about 40 per cent of the market.

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