Balaji Telefilms is betting big on Reliance’s distribution muscle, after Reliance picked up 24.9% stake in Balaji Telefilms for Rs 413 crores. Ekta Kapoor, Joint MD of Balaji Telefilms told CNBC TV18,”As a content providing company Balaji had a knowledge in content for 23 years. With a partner like this, bringing in such kind of a distribution muscle, I think it’s one of the most smart marriages.” Reliance Industries told the media channel that it has been allotted 2.52 crore shares at Rs 164 each.
Nachiket Pantvaidya, the CEO of Alt Balaji said,“The cash of Rs 413 crore puts us in a very safe position to run and operate this business in a very large and unprecedented scale for the next 5-6 years.” Speaking about content development, he said, “That also means we are able to create very large amount of content, we are able to access a distribution pipe that’ll give this content to the urban masses that we want to target.”
According to a bloomberg report, Balaji Telefilms has so far invested close to Rs 40 crore in ALT Balaji. The company had plans to invest a total Rs 150 crore over the next three years to ramp up operations.
Explaining the rationale for the investment Reliance Industries had said in a press release,”RIL is engaged in the telecom, digital and media businesses. This investment in content production ( including digital content) is in line with RIL’s commitment to invest and grow in telecom, digital and media businesses.”
This development assumes importance as Reliance Jio, the 4G entrant, has a digital content ecosystem play. It offers video on demand, Live TV and music stream services to its customers in the country. It recently tied-up with Hotstar. The recently launched Alt Balaji is a subscription video on demand platform, which has crossed over four million downloads globally. The possibilities of this venture look promising, as ALT Balaji continues to increase it’s subscriber base.