Posts Tagged ‘sun’

K Balachander back on TV with family soap

November 17, 2007

“I took a break from television for two years, but now I am back in action with Tenmozhiyaal and Naan Aval Illai,” announces renowned director K Balachander.

Talking with the same vigour as he has done on various other occasions, KB (as he is fondly referred to) is very excited about his television programme, “I was given a daily and a weekly slot, for a family soap and humour respectively. That is when I planned the two stories. Naan Aval Illai is a reflection of my earlier movie, which has also been remade, starring Jeeva. In the serial, the main protagonist is a woman.”

But he warns us that there is a difference between humour and laughter. “Humour is always classy and laughter is slapstick. What I’ve tried in this serial comes under the former,” KB clarifies. Humour is not easy, but he doesn’t make too much of an effort to work on it either, “The serials, which I have done earlier, have always had lot of humour. Also, I’ve worked with Nagesh so it’s only natural that I come up with something based on humour.”

KB says he was very careful about choosing Indraja to do the lead for his humorous weekly. “Indraja’s talent comes handy for a character like this. I am happy to have made this choice for something new that I am trying to experiment with.” And KB is not affected by the current trend of television shows either.

“I will not bring an unnecessary twist in my story just to grab audience attention. For instance, if the main protagonist drinks poison at the end of an episode, what many will do is end it there and keep the audience’s curiosity high until the next episode, where they will show that she drank only coloured water. Such things are consciously absent in my stories,” says KB.

Talking about his daily soap Tenmozhiyaal, KB says that he is trying something different from the usual tearjerkers. Not revealing anything about the future of the serial and the turns it is going to take, KB says, “I don’t talk about it even to my wife. The curiosity should not be killed.”

Explaining his break from TV serials, he says, “I was very tired at one point of time. In television, you have to churn out something interesting everyday. In the process, the creativity is lost.”

But when the younger audiences are looking for a shift in programming, isn’t Tenmozhiyaal run of the mill? “The audience might be younger and modern today. But I have to consider my fans across the globe, who probably fall in the 60+ age group. If I start catering to the younger audience, then my fans will feel alienated. When I went to Abu Dhabi, I met some fans who quoted dialogue after dialogue from my movies, some of which even I didn’t recollect! That made me realise what my fans expect from me.”

But he is quick to add, “Not that I don’t want to cater to younger audiences. I’ll do that through my younger team.” And does that mean that he is against the young school of thought? “At one level I may be,” he says, “For instance, I don’t appreciate live-in relationships. But that’ll not prevent me from highlighting it in my stories if they demand that. Fight sequences are always popular but I’ve successfully done immense work without having a lot of fighting. Moreover, I don’t subscribe to the view of adapting to the modern ways and means for the sake of changing trends or for popularity.”

Any movies in the anvil? “No, not for now,” KB replies, “At the moment, I’m concentrating on these serials. I want to remake Manmathan Illai in a newer younger way with one of the new actors like Jeevan. But it’ll have to wait till the next year.”

Sun Shines Bright

November 17, 2007

The Sun TV Network was incorporated in December 1985 as a privately owned company under the leadership of Kalanithi Maran. From a single TV channel, it has grown to a range of 20 top-rated news and entertainment channels in four south Indian languages. Five are in Tamil, two Malayalam, six Kannada, and seven in Telugu.

The flagship channels are Sun TV (Tamil), Surya (Malayalam), Udaya (Kannada), and Gemini (Telugu). Though presence is largely based in the southern states, Sun plans to launch channels in other languages.

Recently, the company, through its subsidiary, South Asia FM, entered a strategic alliance with Red FM to expand its radio business in the north, west and east. Through its subsidiary Kal Radio, it launched radio stations in Tirupati, Madurai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Tutikorin. It has 44 radio licenses to set up radio channels, indicating robust expansion plans. It plans to cover all of India and much of the South Asian subcontinent.

The Sun TV Network enjoys strong brand recognition, which it has achieved largely through a focus on local-language programming that appeals to regional viewer preferences. It operates leading Tamil radio stations under the name Suryan FM. It is the first to make profits in the radio business. Radio accounts for around 25% of gross sales.

The company launched a children’s channel, Chutti, in Tamil, which has outdone even mainstream channels and has been steadily increasing market share. The company leads in all genres in Tamil: mainstream (Sun TV), movies (K TV), music (Sun Music), and news (Sun News).

The entertainment and media industry has been faring spectacularly of late, and the going looks good for Sun TV. Chennai tops the list of average television viewers all over the country. Chennai viewers watch TV for an average of 19 hours a week, compared with Delhi (15 hours), Mumbai (15.7 hours) and Kolkata (16.1 hours), according to a Television Audience Measurement survey. Roughly 90% of Chennai viewers watch only regional channels. Sun TV had the highest audience share (71.2%) in the past year, compared to its closest rivals in the region, Vijay TV and Kalaignar TV, who had just 5%.

Sun TV Network’s main threat is the feud between the Maran family and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, whose party, the DMK, recently launched Kalaignar TV. It remains to be seen how Sun TV will fare without the patronage of the DMK, which it enjoyed for years.

However, many media analysts feel it won’t be easy for a newcomer to upstage Sun TV. Sun’s main promoter, chairman and managing director Kalanithi Maran, is the largest shareholder, with a 79.97% stake. The company has won many awards for programming.

Maran has also won awards for entrepreneurship. The company has been successsful in fending off competition, and maintaining viewership. The alliance with Red FM, drawn up last quarter, will enable the company to boost its presence in the fast-growing radio market.

Sun TV has the second largest market cap in the entertainment industry, and its high earning per share shows that it is giving better returns than its rivals. The market cap, and Sun’s second highest price-toearning ratio, indicate huge demand for the stock, which is fairly priced. Even national channels cannot match it for earnings or market capitalisation. Sun TV Network, despite being a regional channel, shows great growth potential.

Sun TV Network has posted good results in the second quarter of the financial year 2008. The standalone revenue of the company for the quarter is Rs 208.76 crore, EBITDA is Rs 154.14 crore, and net profit is Rs 80.16 crore. The quarter saw increased competition in the markets.

However, Sun TV Network continued to dominate the television business in south India, with a market share of 60% in Tamil Nadu, 32% in Andhra Pradesh, and 29% in Karnataka. The total income for the second quarter increased to Rs 217.25 crore, up 119% from Rs.99.04 crore in the cooresponding quarter last year. Profit after tax jumped to Rs.93.07 crore, up 120% from Rs 42.23 crore for the corresponding quarter last year. The return on equity (ROE) has been around 47.56% in FY 07, an increase of 6% over 41.54% in FY 06.

The profitability of the company can be seen from the following comparative study of ratios from FY06 to FY07: retained earnings increased by 74.08%, operating income/total asset rose from 0.590% to 0.693%, showing an increase in profitability over the total assets employed. The net worth of the company has increased by 297.57% from Rs 299.15 crore (FY06) to Rs 1,189.32 crore (FY07). Similarly, reserves increased by 372.46% from Rs 237.15 crore (FY06) to Rs 1,120.43 crore (FY07).

Besides a huge market share in the southern part of the country, Sun TV Network has long-term plans to expand nationwide. It has started off with radio operations, which are doing well, and is likely to expand its TV business to the other parts of the country. The company has a sound growth record and excellent management. It is a good investment option for investors with a long-term horizon and moderate risk appetite.