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Zee & STAR are back together; this time for JV in distribution

Bapun Raz

Staff member
3 Nov 2010
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The JV called Media Pro Enterprise India will have Arun Kapoor as chief executive officer, while STARDEN's Gurjeev Singh will be chief operating officer. The company will begin with the distribution of 68 channels.
In a bid to bring on renewed focus on the C&S industry and accelerate the pace of digitisation, media conglomerates STAR India and Zee Network have fused their distribution businesses to form Media Pro Enterprise India. The new entity is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Zee Turner and STARDEN Media Services. It will jointly aggregate and distribute channels licensed to Zee Turner and STARDEN.

For the record, STARDEN Media Services is a 50:50 JV between STAR India Private Limited (SIPL) and DEN Networks, while Zee Turner is the 74:26 joint venture between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Turner International India (TIIPL).

This is not the first time when Zee and STAR have come together. Between 1994 and 1999, Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp subsidiary STAR TV had a 50 per cent holding each in Asia Today Ltd, which had the telecast rights of Zee TV, Zee News, Zee Cinema), software maker Patco, Siticable cable network and Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL). As per the pact between the two parties, STAR had agreed not to broadcast more than half of its shows in Hindi. In 1999, STAR sold its 50 per cent stake back to its founder, Subhash Chandra, for $300 million.

Commenting on the new partnership, Uday Shankar, chief executive officer (CEO), STAR India, says, "The rivalry between Zee and STAR has cost the industry approximately US$10 billion. The historic divide between the two led to a lack of a common point of view within and vertically split the whole industry. This stagnated the industry's growth in business, content and technology."

Media Pro Enterprise India will have Arun Kapoor as chief executive officer, while STARDEN's CEO Gurjeev Singh will be its chief operating officer. The company will begin with the distribution of 68 channels.

Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, ZEEL, says, "The Indian television market is growing rapidly and provides ample opportunities for the JV company to create value. The long term vision of this venture is to pool together the resources of both the partners so as to address various anomalies of the present analog market, curb piracy, and introduce transparency by accelerating the pace of digitisation in India, which will result in benefits to all the stakeholders in the value chain."

The STAR bouquet includes Star Plus, STAR One, STAR Gold, STAR Movies, STAR World, Vijay TV, STAR Utsav, STAR News, STAR Ananda, STAR Majha, STAR Pravah, STAR Jalsa, Channel [V], National Geographic Channel, Fox History & Entertainment, Fox Crime, FX, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Adventure, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo - HD, Baby TV, Asianet, Asianet Plus, Sitara, Suvarna, STAR CJ Alive, NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit, NDTV India and NDTV Good Times.

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