Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yash Chopra is all set for Small Screen launch

Filmmaker Yash Chopra, who has ruled the box office for decades with his romantic movies, is now heading towards the small screen.

Chopra is believed to be in talks with leading television broadcasters to air TV content produced under his banner. And that's not all - sources inform that the movie mogul is considering launching an entertainment channel.

It is learnt that Yash Raj Films has roped in Ravina Raj Kohli (of Sony and Star fame) to set up a television division. According to an industry source, the production house has been in talks with leading Hindi general entertainment broadcasters for its debut on television.

The company has been trying to negotiate for two-hour back-to-back airtime on weekdays. "Yash Raj Films has been talking to various television broadcasters. However, blocking two hours for one production house is a risk for any channel. Consequently, the production company is reworking its strategy," said an executive from a broadcasting company.

Chopra is contemplating launching his own TV channel wherein the filmmaker will telecast programmes - both soaps and format shows - produced by his company. Besides, he will also feature movies that Yash Raj Films churned out over the years. According to the source, Chopra is most likely to partner with a television broadcaster for his channel.

With an aim to create an integrated entertainment company, Chopra is also getting into multiplexes. This seems to be the most logical extension given that multiplex owners have in the past earned almost 60-70 per cent of their box office revenues from the movies produced by Yash Raj Films, according to industry estimates.

The production house makes four-five films annually that run for an average of three weeks. The movie exhibition business will also be through a tie-up with a company.

Entry into television and theatre chain will complete Yash Raj Films' circle in the entertainment space. Formed in 1970, the production house has come a long way from running a studio to the recent foray into animation flicks. The company is producing Roadside Romeo, an animation film, in collaboration with Walt Disney. It will hit the theatres next year.

A few years ago, the production house launched Yash Raj Music and releases the DVDs of its films under the Yash Raj Films Home Entertainment label. The company last year ventured into film distribution with Bollywood blockbuster Krrish starring Hrithik Roshan, followed by Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Both the television and film exhibition projects will take form by 2008-09, according to the source.

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