Sun TV to invest ?300 crore in Bengali, Marathi channels

Chennai-headquartered Sun TV Network Ltd will invest ?300 crore in its forthcoming Bengali and Marathi entertainment channels as it looks to have presence in the regional entertainment industry outside South India.

Sun TV will invest ?150 crore in setting up its first Bengali general entertainment channel that is expected to go on air next month. A similar amount will be invested in its first Marathi channel, expected to go on air “over the next one year.”

Sun TV Network has so far been focussed on the five South Indian markets of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka. “Sun Bangla will be our first major regional foray outside of South India. We also have plans for a Marathi channel,” SL Narayanan, CFO, Sun Group, said while addressing media persons here on Monday.

According to Narayanan, approximately ?150 crore will be invested in the Bengali channel, including the cost of content acquisition, broadcasting fees, and others. The investments will be made from internal accruals.

The channel is expected to break even in the next two years, after which expansion into other franchisees will be looked at. The target is to get 10 per cent market share in the (Bengali) entertainment media “over a pretty quick time”.

“As of now, our focus area is the Bengali general entertainment channel. We are looking at a substantial market share and by the end of the second year, we should break-even here,” he said.

“At this point of time, we are not looking at any of the other genres (expansion of franchise into news channel, film production and so on),” Narayanan added.

Sun TV Network shares closed at ?531.95, up by 5.21 per cent, on the BSE on Monday.

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