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November 12, 2001
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Star India buys Nine Gold content library

Anusha Subramanian & Rakesh P Sharma

Star India has bought out the content library of HFCL-Nine Broadcasting India, the defunct television software venture floated by Australian media mogul Kerry Packer and the HFCL Group.

The arrangement includes all popular soaps and films of Nine Gold. However, the size of the deal could not be ascertained at this stage.

Confirming the development, a Star India spokesperson told Business Standard, We had bought some of the programmes from Channel Nine earlier, but last week we took over their entire library.

The spokesperson declined to comment on the price at which the deal was struck.

The much-hyped HFCL-Nine had stopped operations from September 10 after Doordarshan did not renew its contract with the software company.

The company had also laid-off 50 odd employees, from a total strength of 67. Channel CEO Raveena Raj Kohli was unavailable for comment.

Earlier this year, Star India had bought out programmes such as Kundali, Kabhie Souten Kabhie Saheli and the The Helen Show.

According to media analysts, these programmes from the Nine Gold stable should further improve Star TVs position in the Indian cable and satellite homes.

Several of Star TVs programmes are already leading the charts, and with the Nine Golds library it should be adding a few more interesting programmes in its own library.

A few months ago, HFCL-Nine Gold had petitioned Doordarshan to extend its Rs 1.21 billion one-year contract and give it some additional sops, like flexibility in programming and more commercial time.

DD, while agreeing to an extension of between 6 and 18 months, had put its foot down on the other demands. This led to a break-in contract between DD and the company.

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