Posts Tagged ‘raj tv’

Hollywood brings great TRPs for Tamil channels

May 21, 2009

Guess what’s pulling eyeballs and bringing in the bucks on telly these days ? No, it’s not the reality shows or Tamil movies. It is, in fact, the dubbed Hollywood films that are bringing in great TRPs. Surprised, right ?

The phenomenon of dubbed films has always existed in Kollywood. Films from Telugu were regularly dubbed into Tamil and movies like Jaganmohini, Vyjayanthi IPS and Idhu Dhaandaa Police enjoyed a glorious run in theatres across Tamil Nadu.

However, it was The Mummy, released in 1999, that kick-started the trend of dubbed Hollywood films raking in the moolah at the box office, says Mohan Kumar, who owns a dubbing studio which provides content for Vijay TV.

In fact, it was Vijay TV that started this trend of showing dubbed Hollywood films on TV. What was it that prompted the channel to go in this direction ?

K Sriram, general manager, Vijay TV, said, “We had this three-hour slot for which we needed alternative content. We opted for dubbed flicks as we had a few titles with us and movies are movies, whether dubbed or otherwise. The first film to be shown was Titanic in 2003.”

Sriram also reveals that it is action flicks and movies involving animals, like Babe, that are usually dubbed as they appeal to kids, who form a major part of the audience.

Although other channels like Sun TV, Kalaignar TV and Raj TV have started cashing in on this trend only recently, the response they’ve been receiving is tremendous. That Sun TV , which has the rights of many popular Tamil films (reportedly over 3,000 titles), has created two prime-time slots (11.30 am and 7.30 pm) for these dubbed films from last Sunday should prove the lucrative nature of these films.

Today, a Hollywood flick is sold to the regional TV channels non-exclusively for a sum ranging anywhere between Rs 1 and Rs 3 lakh. Films of action stars like Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone and films with special-effects like Underworld, The Mummy and X-Men are hot in the trade. 

The dubbing costs for a film vary between Rs 1 and Rs 1.5 lakh. Most channels outsource the dubbing to private dubbing studios. So, how do these studios go about the process ?

Says Mohan Kumar, “First, we go through the dialogues of the film and translate them. Then, we select the dubbing artistes whose voices we think will suit the characters and dub the film.We preview the film and once we’re satisfied, we do the mixing and hand over the film to the studio.”

The Tamil dialogues are perhaps the biggest attraction for many viewers, especially teenagers. “Watching Jackie Chan talk in Chennai slang or Arnold mouthing Rajinikanth’s punch dialogues certainly provides a different experience,” says Praveen Kumar, a college student.

However, Mohan Kumar feels that going overboard with such gimmicks will alienate viewers from the movie. “Viewers should for get that they’re watching a dubbed film. They should only feel that they’re watching an English film,” he says. 

His principle, he says, is to retain the essence of the English dialogue and ensure that the concept doesn’t change during translation.

Now, even mythological serials are being dubbed in order to reach a wider audience. Sun TV’s Ramayanam, a dubbed version of the Hindi original, and Raj TV’s Jai Sri Krishna have been garnering impressive TRPs.

Raj TV Q4 net loss at Rs 30.76 million

April 21, 2009
Chennai-based Raj Television Network (RTN) has posted a net loss of Rs 30.76 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2009, as against a net loss of Rs 3.42 million a year ago.

During the period, the company has recorded a 84.45 per cent growth in revenue to Rs 204.05 million (from Rs 110.625 million).

The income from operations and net sales stood at Rs 194.94 million, as compared to Rs 86.44 million in the prior year.

On the expenditure front, there was a steep rise of 102.81 per cent to Rs 229.93 million in the fourth quarter (from Rs 113.37 million). The operational cost of the network has doubled in the quarter at Rs 83.30 million (from Rs 37.71 million) in the corresponding quarter. Meanwhile, other expenditure also surged to Rs 127.28 million (from Rs 61.52 million).

The company launched a Kannada music channel Raj Musix Kannada on 6 March. It is also acquiring content for upcoming Kannada GEC, while a Kannada news channel is also in pipeline.

Raj TV unveils devotional programming for November

October 31, 2008
Raj TV, the Tamil general entertainment channel (GEC), is gearing up to introduce devotional programming in the month of November. The channel has acquired live telecast rights of various religious events in Tamil Nadu as November is a significant holy month for Tamilians.
On 4 November Raj TV will beam the ‘Kantha Shashti festival’ live from the Subramanya Swami temple, Thiruchendur.
On 11 November the channel will air live ‘Karthika Deepam’ directly from the lord Shiva Temple in Thiruvannamalai.During the month, it will also air 20 movies like Indian and Thenali on its afternoon movie band between Monday-Friday.

Complaint against Raj TV for showing MGR films

October 16, 2008

Decades after MGR’s death, his films continue to be gold mines, both in theatres and on satellite television channels. The telecast of two of his films, Adimai Penn and Ulagam Sutrum Valibhan by Raj TV on October 2 has resulted in the channel being accused of copyright infringement.

In a written complaint lodged with the commissioner of police, Emgeeyar Pictures and OK Films have accused the channel of “plain piracy and total infringement of copyright”.

According to a statement from the two companies, they own the copyright of MGR films Nadodi Mannan (1958), Adimai Penn (1969) and Ulagam Sutrum Valibhan (1973). In 2000, OK Films agreed to sell the world satellite TV rights of the film to Raj TV, for Rs 30 lakh.

According to the complainants, while the channel had paid Rs 20 lakh, it still owed Rs 10 lakh. However, the channel aired Adimai Penn and Ulagam Sutrum Valibhan on October 2, and requests to the channel to stop the telecast were ignored.

Speaking to us, M Raajhendran, MD of Raj TV said that as per the agreement with OK Films, the channel had the right to claim interest if the film’s rights were delayed.

“The rights should have been given to us by 2001, but because of the litigation over the ownership of the films, our money was locked. Now that the judgment has clearly stated that they are the producers of the film, it was decided to telecast the film.” Raajhendran said.

Raj TV plans print foray, to raise funds

September 11, 2008

Raj Television Network Ltd plans to enter the print media and is open to acquiring a Tamil newspaper, an official told Mint newspaper on Thursday.

The company plans to raise 500 million to 1 billion rupees from private equity firms to build a studio, office complex and for its film production business, the newspaper reported.

Raj Television will look to offer 5-10 percent stake for the fund infusion, the newspaper reported.

“The promotors are willing to go down to 51 percent,” B Sukumaran, adviser, corporate planning and strategy said.

According to data on the BSE, the founders of the company hold 72.48 percent as of June.

“We will see how the stock market performs and then take a call on when we would raise the funds,” he said.

The company is evaluating options on its print entry as certain players operating in the regional space have approached it to sell their business, Sukumaran told the newspaper.

After Sun TV, Raj TV to also produce Tamil films

May 28, 2008

Even as market leader, Sun TV Network gears up to launch a slew of films, Raj Television Network, which operates general entertainment channels in Tamil and Telugu, is also entering the fray to produce Tamil films.

The company intends to produce 12 Tamil films in the first year and has earmarked a capital outlay of Rs 30 crores for the purpose initially. It has firmed up plans to launch four films in the first week of June, this year, a Tamil film director, on condition of anonymity, said.

M Raajhendran, Chairman and Managing director, Raj TV, declined to comment on the move to produce films. However, it is learnt that the company is planning a event in the first week of June to simultaneously launch four new films. It has entered into strategic tie-ups with film director, T P Gajendran, in addition to producers, A M Ratnam and Kameela Nasser.

While Raj TV Network will fund and produce these films under its own banner, it has tied up with others to act as executive producers and complete the film projects on a first copy basis.

Raj TV intends to market and release the films on its own, through existing distributors. The Tamil film industry, drew several corporate houses, including Moser Baer India, UTV and Adlabs Films to get into film production over the past year, is now seeing television channels enter the fray.

Over the past three months, Sun TV Network has been discreetly working out film production deals with almost all leading stars and a formal announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks. had earlier reported first that the Sun TV Network is gearing up to enter film production. It plans to produce at least 10 feature films each in three languages – Tamil, Telugu and Kannada annually through Sun Pictures, a soon-to-be-floated unit.

Raj TV shares were in the limelight about a year ago, when the relationship between DMK President and Tamil Nadu CM, M Karunanidhi and the Marans turned controversial and bitter.

When the stock market was made to believe that it was Raj TV that’s launching the DMK-based Kalaignar TV, the shares of the company had hit a high of Rs 373.35.

Raj TV’s video-on-demand on BigFlicks

March 21, 2008

BigFlicks, the movie rental service from the house of Reliance ADA group, has joined hands with Raj Television Network Productions (RTN), the Tamil media and entertainment major, for its video-on-demand (VOD) division. The audiences will have access to the vast content of Raj TV on the website for free viewing.

BigFlicks also has a VOD division –, with a library of more than 700 movie titles in 12 Indian languages. BigFlicks already has content partnerships with NDTV, Zoom, Star TV and 7 Star Care, under which viewers can see these channels free of charge. The business model of the service is based on advertising.

With the Raj TV tie-up, users will be able to view movies, TV shows and music content owned by the Raj TV Network free of charge. The Raj TV Network claims to have movie rights worth Rs 500 crore.

Kamal Gianchandani, COO, BigFlicks, said, “Raj Television Networks is one of the largest media and entertainment houses in India with a very strong and niche content base down south. We are very happy to tie-up with Raj Television to make available all content on our platform for free viewing.”

BigFlicks will launch some TV shows from the Raj TV Network for free streaming on the website. The Raj TV Network has properties like Raj TV, a general entertainment channel, Raj Musix, a music channel, and Raj Digital Plus, a Tamil movie channel.

S. Swaminathan, Head, Distribution, Raj Television Network, said, “Today online media plays a very pivotal role in every ambitious company’s growth plans. Big Flicks is a fast growing company and has aggressive plans with regards to its website content and retail stores across India.”

Raj TV’s entry into the South East Asian Market

January 27, 2008

Raj Television Network Ltd has announced that the Company has signed an agreement with the Singapore Government owned TV 12 for exporting content to TV12’s Vasantham Central, a popular Channel airing programmes for the Indian community in Singapore. The agreement will be for a period of two years. This agreement is to share content of Raj TV’s popular bouquet of programmes, which will include Movies, Serials, Soaps, Game shows, Realty shows, News and other variety of programmes. The agreement is part of the Company’s plans to export its content to various overseas markets. Raj TV conservatively expects revenue of over Rs 300 Lacs per year from this arrangement. The agreement entitles Vasantham Central to air a total of 1500 hours of Raj TV’s content to its viewers.

Vasantham Central has very strong viewership among the Indians, especially Tamilians, predominant in Singapore’s population. Mr M. Raveendran, Director – Operations, of the Company said, “Vansantham Central, part of the Mediaeorp Group, is a highly popular channel in Singapore. The Channel caters to the Indian population in Singapore, with a variety of Indian content, including Tamil programmes. The channel takes utmost importance in offering its viewers some of the best quality content from across the world.

Through this tie-up Raj TV will now enter the high potential Singapore market. We will offer Vasantham central, some of our past, present and future content and based on the response we plan to launch our entire bouquet of channels in Singapore shortly. We are looking at overseas markets aggressively for content export, especially countries like Malaysia, Europe, Africa and US which have high potential for growth apart from launching our channels in these markets.” Vasantham Central, the Government owned channel is one of the biggest Indian Television stations outside of India. The channel is free to air and boasts a viewership of a million.

The channel has also won international recognition for some of its programmes. Mediacorp, the leading broadcaster in Singapore has a total experience of about 100 years in TV and Radio broadcast business. This is the Raj TV’s first entry into the South East Asian Market. It plans to use the Singapore entry to evaluate and understand the local market and also get an insight into what kind of programmes will be liked in that region. Singapore and Malaysia provide a huge market and growth potential for the channel and would like to leverage on their past, present and future contents.

Raj TV already has content syndication arrangements with the popular Srilankan Channel Roopavahini, besides the UK-based Tamil channels, Deepam TV and CIEE Television. Raj TV will look at leveraging on this tie-up, by understanding the demands and taste of the Indian population in Singapore, and conceptualizing its own Independent programmes which will have a local flavour and touch. The strategy would be to use the experience gained through this association to launch an exclusive channel in South East Asia

Raj TV launches four music channels

January 21, 2008

Tamil Nadu’s regional broadcaster Raj Television Network Ltd Monday announced the launch of four new music channels – collectively to be called Raj Musix

The bouquet of channels will telecast in four languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. However, they will include music programmes in English and Hindi as well.

A huge amount of Rs.40 million has been allotted to the music channels project. While the Tamil channel will go on air Wednesday, the other three would be set up in the coming few months, said Amit Bose, vice-president (planning) of the network.

There are two major Tamil music channels currently, including Sun Music and SS Music. Recent months have seen two new entrants – JayaMax and Kalaignar Isaiaruvai as well.

Raj Musix will be complete with phone-in programmes, SMS requests and celebrity chat shows.

The 24-hour music and lifestyle channel will target not only the youth, but also ‘all those who have a passion for music and other finer things in life’, the group said.

Hai Tv Tuners !

November 6, 2007

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