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Star India re-enters Telugu market with acquisition of Maa TV
MUMBAI: Star India has re-entered the Telugu market with the acquisition of broadcast business of Maa Television Network which includes four Telugu channels, namely Maa TV, Maa Music, Maa Gold, and Maa Movies.
Incidentally, Multi Screen Media (MSM) was also in talks to acquire the Telugu television network. Sony Pictures Television (SPT) had entered into a strategic alliance with Maa Television Network to acquire a 30 per cent stake. While the deal never came to fruition, the parties kept the negotiation process open.
The acquisition would give Star India access to the attractive Telugu TV market. It is pertinent to note that Star India used to run a Telugu GEC called Asianet Sitara, which was shut down later. Asianet Sitara was part of Asianet Communications, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India.
Maa Television Network is one of the leading broadcast networks in Telugu content and has a strong growth trajectory driven by fiction and movie content.
The strategic deal will come into effect upon completion of the regulatory requirements. Once the policies and procedures of Maa TV are aligned with those of Star India, the broadcast business of Maa TV will be integrated with that of Star India.
“The Telugu market is an important market; however, the pace of innovation has been slow. We are keen to change this by acquiring a local presence and fundamentally changing the content quality paradigm. We were very impressed by the solid creative core and depth of the management team at Maa Television Network. In a short span of time, they have built a leading business that is poised to take the next leap. The acquisition fills a vital gap in our portfolio, allowing our advertisers targeted access to a critical market,” said Star India CEO Uday Shankar.
“The strategic decision to align with Star India and be part of a global media group will be a big leap in our efforts to take Maa TV Network to the next level and strengthen the positioning of the Maa brand in the industry. Star’s leading position in the industry and its parent company’s proven expertise in media business on a global scale will enable Maa to offer more innovative, rich and differentiated entertainment content to the Telugu diaspora worldwide,” said MAA Television Network chairman Nimmagadda Prasad.
“We see a lot of synergies and complementary strengths emanating from the strategic deal, and it will be a win-win proposition for Maa and Star. Telugu TV viewers will stand to gain significantly from this initiative through greater access to a wide variety of qualitative entertainment content,” added Prasad.