Tara Marathi Shuts Shop, As Firm Incurs Major Losses

Mumbai: | Updated: Jan 2 2003, 05:30am hrs
Tara Marathi has shut operations as Eternal Dreams, which was handling the management of the channel incurred severe losses. Rathikant Basu-promoted Broadcast Worldwide, which started the Tara group of regional channels, had entered into an agreement with Eternal Dreams to contract the management of the Marathi channel for three years.

Eternal Dreams managing director Swapna Chaturvedi confirmed that the company incurred severe losses during the six months of its operations. The company had initially invested Rs 1.5 crore.

Though, it billed Rs 1.2 crore, most of that money could not be recovered as the channel has been off air since September, six months after it started operations in March.

We have not even recovered 20 per cent of our investments. Clients had undertaken long term deals. Since the channel went off air after running for just six months, we wont be able to get money from the advertisers. We found it difficult to run as a standalone channel, said Ms Chaturvedi.

For shifting the uplinking from the Thaicom centre at Bangkok to the VSNL facility in Mumbai, Eternal Dreams needed to invest Rs 60 lakh. That was a death blow to us. We couldnt have invested such a hefty amount, said Ms Chaturvedi.

Taras regional language channels in Punjabi and Gujarati had already shut shop long back.

The Marathi channel was given to Eternal Dreams, which took over the entire operations. New programming initiatives like dubbing Ramanand Sagars Ramayana and Sri Krishna did not help boost the channel, which was facing stiff competition from DD and Eenadus regional channels and Alpha Marathi.

Rathikant Basu-promoted Broadcast Worldwide ran its regional channels under Tara (Television Aimed at Regional Audiences).

But the channels faced rough weather soon as Star refused to distribute the channels. Besides, the plan to come out with an initial public offering (IPO) also did not materialise.