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Teleone plans to launch a home shopping and a regional channel

MUMBAI: Delhi-based teleshopping company Teleone Consumers Product, which had recently ventured into television broadcasting with the launch of Hindi movie channel Maha Movie, is planning to launch two more channels. While the first will be a home shopping channel, the second will be in the regional space.

Sanjay Verma Teleone

Sanjay Verma

“We launched Maha Movie on 3 June and plan to launch two more channels, a home shopping channel and another in the regional space this fiscal,” Teleone Consumers Product CEO Sanjay Verma told TelevisionPost.com.

Verma revealed that the teleshopping company has ventured into broadcasting since the channel will also act as an advertising platform for its teleshopping business.

With a gross annual turnover of Rs 1.5 billion, Teleone had spent Rs 850–900 million last year on advertising and brand promotions on television. It runs promos on a cross-section of channels that include satellite as well as local cable channels.

“It makes sense for us to launch our own channels because we anyway invest almost Rs 850 to 900 million in advertising every year,” added Verma.

So why did Teleone start with a Hindi movie channel? “Because we got good response for our teleshopping business on Hindi movie channels,” opined Verma. Teleone had applied for the licence in 2011 but got it only in January this year.

Verma revealed that Maha Movie currently has a library of 130 films comprising yesteryear films of the ‘80s and ‘90s. While conceding that the existing library is insufficient to run a Hindi movie channel, Verma revealed that the company is in talks to acquire rights to more films from studios.

“We need a library of at least 350–400 films to run a Hindi movie channel. We will acquire more films. We are currently in talks with studios like UTV to buy movie rights,” stated Verma.

Maha Movie is currently available only on analogue networks and the company is talking to DTH and cable TV platforms to increase the reach of the channel. The channel, which is beaming from Intelsat 20 satellite, has so far distributed 150 IRD boxes to analogue platforms.

The Hindi movie space is dominated by three big players Star Gold, Zee Cinema and Sony Max with UTV Movies at the fourth spot. Then there are free-to-air channels like Enterr10 and Cinema TV.

Verma also revealed that the company will apply for licence for a home shopping and a regional channel once the Hindi movie channel is firmly established.

Talking about future expansion plans, Verma said that a home shopping channel is a no-brainer for Teleone since teleshopping is the company’s core business and it enjoys a good distribution network across India with 80 per cent reach.

The home shopping segment currently has only two players Star CJ and HomeShop18. Star India recently divested its stake in Star CJ to Providence while HomeShop18 is looking at a NYSE listing.