In business talks: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with James Murdoch, COO of 21st Century Fox, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI
When James Murdoch, Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Fox, hobnobs with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Ministers, it is bound to generate curiosity.
Though little was known about his interaction with people in power, connect is being made to Star India’s aggressive expansion plans in India. It is expanding its sports and regional broadcasting businesses besides focusing on making inroads in the digital space.
Murdoch met Modi on Thursday. He also met the Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley.
Murdoch, who had come to India a couple of days back, also met Minister of Telecom and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Star India had acquired Screen brand from the Indian Express group for its mobile app Hotstar, which also marked the end of Screen’s print edition and has been transformed into a digital-only product. Screen is now part of its mobile phone app Hotstar, which the company launched in February.
In February, Star India also acquired the entire broadcast business of MAA Television Network for an undisclosed amount, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the regional market. MAA TV has four Telugu entertainment channels.
Murdoch is said to have last visited India in 2011.
According to the latest FICCI-KPMG report, Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.9 per cent to grow to ?1,96,400 crore by 2019. It was pegged at ?1,02,600 crore in 2014. “Reflecting the macroeconomic growth rate, advertising witnessed a healthy year on the back of heavy spending during the national and State elections and a surge in spends by e-commerce companies,” the report said.