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ABP to foray into film, TV content

Kolkata-based media group Anada Bazaar Patrika (ABP) has announced its foray into the film and television content business by picking up a stake in Kaleidoscope Entertainment for a consideration of Rs 200 million, reports Business Standard.

Post-deal, the Bobby Bedi-promoted entertainment company is looking at leveraging this partnership to venture into content creation for TV, mobile and internet.

The exact equity stake bought by ABP and other financial details were not disclosed.

While the stake sale gives Kaleidoscope the required funds for creating original content on newer forms of media as well as access to ABP`s publishing prowess, ABP, on the other hand, would add the entertainment content in its portfolio.

The deal is just an initial investment and the first step in the process. We were very clear that we had to bring entertainment into our portfolio, said ABP MD and CEO Pramath Raj Sinha.

ABP currently publishes a slew of publications like Businessworld, Anand Bazaar Patrika, The Telegraph and co-owns Star News and Bengali news channel Star Ananda, along with Rupert Murdoch`s Star group.

While denying that there was an entertainment channel from ABP in the offing right now, Sinha said that the option was open.

The mobile space, which is growing exponentially, is set to boom and there is space to offer anything with a video application in the form of health, beauty tips, entertainment content or even news clips, Sinha added.

Kaleidoscope Entertainment, which clocked revenues to the tune of Rs 500 million in the last financial year and is gunning for Rs 1 billion by March, 2008, is looking at scaling up its film production as well as TV and mobile content production.

`We will be making more and bigger budget films, at least two to three of them each year from 2008 onwards. The TV content will also have almost 250 hours of programming content on air by then,` said Bobby Bedi, managing director, Kaleidoscope Entertainment.

ABP is already in tie-ups with telecom operators and Kaleidoscope`s exclusive content, once ready, can be pushed by them.

Also, Kaleidoscope`s film trilogy and television series on the epic battle, Mahabharata, will have massive merchandising efforts, including an animated book series where they can rely on ABP`s publishing strengths, explained Bedi.

Mahabharata, from which Bedi is hoping to garner Rs 25-30 crore in the first year of production, will also lend itself to exclusive content creation in the form of mobile and internet games, mobile clips, etc.

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