~ Combination will create the definitive multi-media film and entertainment franchise ~
Mumbai, March 9th 2015 – Aficionados’ of Film & Entertainment content are in for a real delight! Star India and the Indian Express Group today announced a deal under which Star India will acquire the Screen brand from the Indian Express group.
Founded in 1951, Screen manages a popular periodical focused on the film and entertainment industry and also owns the most respected film awards franchise that is widely valued by the film fraternity for its integrity and impartiality. As part of the transaction, Star will get exclusive ownership of the “Screen” brand franchise including all archival material and transfer of key employees.
“The Screen acquisition will yield huge benefits for Star India and for hotstar our digital platform,” said Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India. "We couldn’t be more excited."
Star has built one of India's largest media and entertainment organizations reaching over 700 Million viewers in India and across the globe every week through nearly 40 channels broadcast in 7 languages. Star has scaled its multi-screen presence with hotstar emerging as the most preferred destination for sports and entertainment online.
“Screen is a strong and reputable franchise and gives us access to the entertainment editorial suite and the tinsel world, where news that shapes trends is made by film stars, directors and producers,” Shankar said, adding “The acquisition of Screen will allow us to strengthen and expand the content brand online while taking the awards platform to the next level. There are strong synergies and the combination of the quality content and awards franchise with Star’s presence across television and digital platforms is strategic and scalable.”
“We are delighted to enter into a transaction with Star India. Screen is one of the most reputed film and entertainment properties in the country. We have built this business with lot of passion and are confident that Star will nurture it and take it to greater heights” said Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director the Indian Express Group.
Speaking on the transaction George Varghese, CEO Indian Express said “Screen is one of our leading properties on the entertainment side of the business. Our decision was driven by our belief in Star’s focus to grow this business, which we believe would translate into adding value for all stakeholders including employees.”
The acquisition will integrate the Screen awards property with Star, besides adding a consumer brand to the network's digital business. The acquisition makes Star poised to become steward of the great Screen franchise that the Indian Express Group has built over the past many years. Star is uniquely positioned to preserve and build the market presence of Screen through its shared values and complementary resources. This acquisition will enable Star to expand the awards franchise and build the content brand to the next level by taking it online.