Star, Balaji ditch deal

News Corp’s Asian broadcaster Star TV has decided against launching regional Indian channels with producer Balaji Telefilms (key property Karam Apnaa Apnaa, left) and will instead sell back its 25.99% stake to the producer’s other owners.
Star will reportedly receive Rs190 per share. In 2004, the broadcaster paid Rs90 oer share to buy 21%, raising its stake subsequently.

The parties had in 2007 formed a joint venture to launch a series of regional-language channels. This will be disbanded. Restrictions under which Balaji could not sell its programming elsewhere for broadcast during prime time will also be removed.

Star India CEO Uday Shankar said: “Star and BTL have agreed to determine all prior agreements such that each side is freed from all respective rights and obligations arising from such agreements. The relationship between Star and BTL as broadcaster and content provider will not be affected. The new arrangement allows both parties to take the best advantage of emerging opportunities in broadcasting and content creation.”