Star India Pvt. Ltd, a unit of 21st Century Fox, on Thursday announced that it had completed the integration of Telugu television channel network Maa Television Network Ltd, and was now better positioned to serve audiences in southern India, particularly the massive Telugu-speaking market.
The acquisition of Maa by Star was announced in February and while the two companies did not disclose the size of the deal, it was estimated to be in excess ofRs.2,000 crore.
Uday Shankar, chief executive at Star India, said, “The acquisition fills a critical gap in our portfolio and will allow our advertisers targeted access to the large Telugu-speaking population. We plan to invest further in this important market to fundamentally change the content quality paradigm. I am confident that the Maa team under the leadership of K. Madhavan will transform the content experience for Telugu viewers.”
With the completion of the necessary formalities, the broadcast business of Maa TV will now be integrated with the business of Star India.
Maa is one of the leading broadcast networks in the Telugu language market and enjoys a strong growth trajectory, driven by general entertainment and movies.
The deal marks Star’s biggest acquisition in India. The company now has channels in seven Indian languages—Tamil,Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Marathi and Bengali. It also has a near-stranglehold over the sports broadcasting market in India, with four standard definition sports channels under the Star Sports brand and four high definition channels that are part of the network.
The Maa acquisition gives Star access to the Telugu-speaking market—the second largest regional market in India in terms of revenue, pegged at Rs.1,800 crore a year, according to company data.
The Maa TV Network has a bouquet of four channels—Maa, Maa Music, Maa Movies and Maa Gold.
Maa TV is Star’s second major acquisition. The first was Asianet Communications Ltd in November 2008. Asianet operated three general entertainment channels in Malayalam, and two Kannada channels. Star completed the buyout in May 2014.