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SAB, Sri Lankan channel in pact

May 06, 2006 16:46 IST

Television content provider Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Networks has entered into a collaborative agreement with Sri Lankan TV channel, Sirasa TV, part of the Maharaja Group.

Under the agreement, SABTNL will provide concepts and technical expertise to produce contents jointly with Sirasa TV for Sirasa TV.

The revenue generated from the concepts supplied by SABTNL, after deduction of production costs will be split in a 50:50 ratio between Sirasa and SAB.

According to analysts, the deal with Sirasa will add close to Rs 6.75 crore (Rs 67.5 million) annually to SABTNL's kitty.

The five-year deal requires SABTNL to supply seven hours of weekly programming, which works out to approximately 2,000 hours. As part of the deal, SABTNL has offered some of its popular television programmes to Sirasa.

While the concept will remain the same, these programmes will be customised to the Srilankan audiences incorporating the local flavour.

"We have started working in a phased manner over the past three months, and have begun remaking Surag, Khauff and a daily soap," said Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director, SABTNL.

He added that as India looked at the West for concepts and directions for technical know-how, the country was emerging as a power in the entertainment sector, where neighbouring countries were looking and emulating Indian formats. "This will create new revenue streams for television industry here," he said.

"We are happy to be once again associated with SABTNL for joint productions in Sri Lanka. The first success for our channels came through Sriman Srimati and Damini, which SABTNL produced in Sri Lanka in Sinhala language and were pioneering efforts there.

SABTNL's entry to this market with us with a portfolio of new genre programmes will undoubtedly open a new chapter in the TV industry of Sri Lanka," said R Rajamahendran, chairman and managing director, Maharaja group, Sri Lanka.

SAB plans to replicate this model by forging similar deals with TV channels from regions such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the West Asia.

The move is expected to help SABTNL harness the potential of its existing library, which currently houses more than 5,200 hours.

The Mahajan group currently runs four FM radio stations, Sirasa TV in Sinhala, Shakti TV in Tamil and MTV in English in Sri Lanka.

BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai