Posts Tagged ‘sun tv’

India’s Sun TV Maran Set to Buy Stake in Spicejet

June 11, 2010

Sun TV Network Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Kalanithi Maran is close to purchasing nearly 40 percent stake in Spicejet Ltd., the Indian low-fare airline, the Mint reported, citing two investment bankers it didn’t identify.

The report said Maran will be buying stakes from promoter B.S. Kansagra and billionaire Wilbur Ross for 8 billion rupees.

Sun Pictures shines with smash Tamil hits

July 19, 2009

Sun Pictures, the film production arm of Sun TV Network, has some reason to cheer. Having forayed into film production, acquisition and distribution less than a year ago, six out of the seven Tamil films acquired and released by the leading media company have turned out to be hits, including two that have been declared as smash hits.

Venturing into films Kaadhalil through Vizhundhein, Sun Pictures has since acquired and distributed Thenaavattu, Dindugal Sarathy, Padikkaadhavan, Thee, Ayan and Maasilamani. Except Thee, where the distributors lost about15 per cent of their investments or the print and publicity costs, every other film has given handsome returns to the distributors.

Among the hits, Ayan and Kaadhalil Vizhundhein have been declared as smash hits. While Ayan, acquired at a cost of Rs 18 crore, is expected to gross about Rs 50 crore and fetch a distributors’ share of over Rs 25 crore from all territories, Kaadhalil Vizhundhein, acquired for Rs 3.5 crore, collected a distributors’ share of Rs 8.5-9.2 crore.

“Sun Pictures looks for basic entertainment value in the films that they acquire With an eye on attracting the family audience, they shun films with excessive violence or sex. That’s the secret of the success of their portfolio of films,” says K S Mahalingam, head, distribution, AGS Entertainment, that distributes Sun Pictures’ films in Tamil Nadu.

While three films were small budget ones, Padikaadhavan and Ayan were big budget ones, where the acquisition costs ranged between Rs 14-18 crore. Now, it has again turned its attention on small budget films starting with Maasilamani.

“Once Sun acquires a film from the original producer, it palms it off territory-wise to a set of distributors at a marginal profit. As a result, there is no big increase in cost as the film changes hands. Where it actually gains is the satellite rights of the film, which it gets at almost nil cost.” says a veteran distributor, who did not wish to be named.

Later, it then turns its attention to aggressive marketing and the network, being an established media empire, comes handy in taking this across all segments of the media – television, radio and print.

“They are smart marketing people and the fact that they have a successful media empire gives them complete control over the campaign. Hence, their success rate is not surprising, only a failure will be surprising,” says G Dhananjayan, chief operating officer, entertainment business, Moser Baer Entertainment.

Ajay Vidyasagar joins Sun TV Network as COO

July 1, 2009

After taking a break of two months, Ajay Vidyasagar has joined Sun TV Network as chief operating officer (COO). Vidyasagar has confirmed the development to Televisonpoint.com and says that he has taken over the new role from July 15.

Prior to joining Sun TV, he was associated with Star India as president, content and new media, where he worked for 14 years.

Vidyasagar started his stint with Star India in 1996 and has been a part of the Chennai team of the network. After some time, he shifted to Mumbai, where he was part of the company’s marketing team. During his tenure with Star, he was also the commercial director of Channel [V], the music channel of the network.

In 2000, when Star India acquired Vijay TV, a Tamil general entertainment channel (GEC), Vidyasagar moved down south as head of the group’s regional business, where he was appointed general manager, regional channels, Star India.

In 2004, Vidyasagar went back to Mumbai to head the marketing function of Star India as executive vice-president and was later promoted as president, content and new media, his last designation with the group.

It was during his stint that Star Plus launched the second season of the country’s most popular game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, after a gap of four years. The same year, Star Network also came up with its second GEC, Star One.

Vidyasagar is known to have used several innovative marketing strategies to promote the Star Network’s channels. Also, during his tenure with the group, he headed the licensing and merchandising functions of Star.

As head of Star India’s new media function, he was responsible for the overall operations of the Internet business of the network. He has also dabbled in advertising and was associated with O&M, Bangalore, where he spent about six years; he left the agency as account director.

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.

Sun Tv New Channel : Comedy Thirai

September 3, 2008

NEWS FIRST ON INTERNET

Sun Network has planned to float its new Commedy channel named Comedy Central. And this would be first of its kind in India.The official announcement will be aired on the Sun Network Channels from today.

TvToday Wishes all the very best.

Thanks : Suchitra

Sun TV continues off air in Madurai

June 13, 2008

The poaching by Royal Cable Vision (RCV) into Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) territory increased to a staggering 70 per cent in Madurai city forcing more number of viewers to miss Sun TV’s bouquet of channels. With SCV refusing to give its Sun network signals to RCV, the cable war is only building up by the day.

”We have not compelled anyone to shift from SCV to RCV. The cable operators, who were suffering at the hands of the SCV until now, have grabbed the opportunity after the launch of RCV. Cut up by SCV’s monopoly, the cable operators have volunteered to come under the RCV fold,” RCV officials said.

With 30 head-end operators and 450 link operators, the city has two lakh cable connections. After chief minister M. Karunanidhi’s son Azhagiri launched RCV in the city on Monday, the monopoly of Maran-owned SCV has suffered a severe setback within 74 hours.

Despite SCV refusing to relay its pay channels through RCV, the cable operators are increasingly moving towards the latter unmindful of the viewers who have been denied the opportunity to watch their favourite programmes on Sun.

But the cable operators seem to be happy now. ”They (SCV) have been dictating terms thus far. And we have all along obliged them. Now, it is a turnaround situation where we have been invited by RCV management to share even its profits,” A. M. Kannan, General secretary, Madurai Cable TV Operators Association, said.

Azhagiri has asked the operators to collect charges ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 130 for a cable connection depending upon the locality.

An SCV official said that RCV’s blackout of Sun TV channels has only resulted in a huge demand for Sun Direct. “We are moving additional equipment and technicians to Madurai to meet the demand, which only proves that people want to watch Sun TV at any cost,” he said.

Arasu Corp invites MSOs applications

May 24, 2008

The Tamil Nadu state-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd has invited applications from cable operators, link operators and multi-system operators to take its television signals for onward distribution to their cable subscribers in the state.

The operators are required to be registered with the local post office, have a few pay channels in their existing cable TV service with their own network or link to be eligible to submit ‘expressions of interest’.

The corporation will receive signals from broadcasters and distribute them to the consumers through the local cable TV operators. It is planning to set up ‘digital head-ends’, which would distribute signals, in six to eight cities and towns and would be feeding the TV signals with about 80 channels.

The monthly subscription could be as low as Rs 100. Brijeshwar Singh, Managing director, Arasu Corporation, had earlier said its aim was to provide high quality service at reasonable cost.

The call for expressions of interest sets in motion a process that may see a majority of the cable operators in Chennai shifting over to the government-run cable corporation from the two existing MSOs – Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), controlled by the Maran brothers, and Hathway Cable and Datacom.

Arasu cable corporation is seen as an attempt by the DMK regime to dilute the virtual monopoly that SCV enjoys in large parts of Chennai and other towns.

SCV is both a cable signal distributor and a multi-system operator under the conditional access system. The government’s corporation will perform a similar role. However, the government has clarified that its company will not affect street-end operators.

Karuna hits out at Marans, again

February 27, 2008

Piqued by the big crowd and the huge display of many rival AIADMK advertisements in the Maran owned paper celebrating leader Jayalalithaa’s 60th birthday Tamil Nadu CM Karunanidhi has faulted his grandnephews for the abuse of DMK’s sun symbol in those advertisements.

He was particularly incensed by the advertisements placed in Maran’s Tamil Murasu by AIADMK functionary P.K.Sekar Babu, hailing Jayalalithaa as the vanguisher of Suriya Kudumbam (Sun family). Babu’s reference to the first family of the DMK whose symbol is the rising sun further irked him.

Angry that the Maran brothers had permitted such ‘abuse’ of the party symbol, propagated by none other than the DMK founder Annadurai,Karunanidhi in a poem, penned for the occasion wanted to know why they (Maran’s) chose to name their TV channel after the sun.

Commenting on the episode, a Sun TV official said, it was a “pure business matter” and “there was nothing political in the channel’s handling of the paid advertisements.”

Of late, the Sun News has been giving prominence to the opposition politicians, particularly the AIADMK and its leader Jayalalithaa. The huge AIADMK advertisements in Tamil Murasu inspired a rumour among political circles that the Maran brothers Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi had called on Jayalalithaa to greet her on her birthday.

Sun TV’s S FM to launch in Kanpur

January 29, 2008

Sun TV’s S FM is launching in Kanpur through its subsidiary South Asia FM. The launch will take the total number of FM stations to 21 all over India.

S FM already operates in places that include Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Madurai, Tuticorin, Lucknow, Bhopal, Pondicherry, Kozhikode (Calicut), Indore, Vijayawada, Varanasi, Tiruchy and Rajahmundry.

The company will launch 24 more stations to complete the launch of 45 stations across the country.

Chellamey Nee Yenakku has more to go

January 20, 2008

It’s mid afternoon and the cast of Abhinaya Creations’ mega serial Chellamey Nee Yenakku has just wound up some scenes for the day at MGR Film City. While some actors have left for other shoots, the director SN Sakthivel and actors Bhaboos (villain Devaraj ) and Napoleon (ACP Radhakrishnan) are still discussing some shots.

Bhaboos has played villainous characters in several movies and this is not new to him. On TV it was his role in Selvi that won him recognition. Napoleon looks so young, it’s difficult to imagine that he has acted in 30 serials already! While cameraman K S Nagarajan searches for the right mix of light and shade in the forest like area of Filmcity, Sakthivel is discussing the car chase sequence that they have just shot.

“It was very difficult shooting live on the roads with cars passing by at great speeds,” he tells. When asked about the story and Napoleon chips in, “This is a mega serial so there are nearly five different tracks.” The serial has completed 215 episodes and still has 200 more to go.

So what’s keeping the serial going with so much competition and many clones on different channels? “It’s tough to retain audience attention with so many mega serials running at the same time,” Sakthivel admits, “It’s a challenge for me as a director.” But he gives full credit to the gripping screenplay of Maruthu Sankar and his team.

They are all praise for the producers Abhinaya Creations. Says Sakthivel, “They have increased our budgets and spent generously on outdoor shoots. We have recorded three songs with 20 junior artistes including a ‘thiruvizha’ song with a budget of Rs5 lakhs. We have lots of fight sequences just like in films and we have even shot on location with a river background. All this creativity has been possible only because of the production house’s stress on quality.”

Bhaboos plays a villain who is perennially chased by the cop Napoleon because of his criminal activities and an old family feud involving the duo. Will the chase ever end and will the criminal get his comeuppance with the long arm of the law?