Just a few hours after its deal to buy out MAA TV, STAR India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Uday Shankar talked to Business Standard's Surajeet Das Gupta to explain the rationale behind the deal
What is the reason for you to buy MAA?
It's a big market and the most important thing is that our three major competitors are in the Telugu market - Viacom through Eenadu, Zee through Zee Telugu and Sun Network through Gemini and Teja. We are catching up on our competitors.How big is the market?
It is a huge content market, with a large cable distribution system and lots of movies are made. The average revenue per user is very decent and content consumption in this market is pretty high. Also, in terms of size, it is Rs 2,000-crore advertising-cum-subscription market.How does it fit in with your overall strategy?
We have been strengthening our presence in regional markets with Bengali, Tamil and Kannada just to name a few. The only gap that we had in our portfolio was Telugu, so we took the opportunity to fill that gap when it came. MAA has a robust business model, has very healthy earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margins and so is very attractive.