Asianet (TV channel)
|Launched||30 August 1993|
|Network||Asianet Star Communications|
|Owned by||Star India|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Slogan||Ahead with Change, Ahead of Others|
The channel was originally promoted by Sashi Kumar with seed capital provided by Reji Menon in the early 1990s. In late 2006 Reji Menon partially pulled out of Asianet Communications, turning over control to Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Jupiter Entertainment Ventures). STAR India bought a 51% stake in Asianet Communications and formed joint venture with JEV in November, 2008. STAR India acquired 100% stake in Asianet Communications in March, 2014.
Asianet Communications was the first entertainment television company in Malayalam. It was promoted by Sashi Kumar with seed capital provided by Reji Menon. Kumar was a former head of Press Trust of India's television division and his relative Menon was a Moscow-based businessman.
When Asianet faced a financial crunch, the real estate firm Rahejas was given 50% stake in the cable operations. The channels were still owned by Sashi Kumar (50% shares) and Reji Menon (50% shares). The Rahejas later wanted a stake in the channel operations too. While Kumar resisted overtures from the Rahejas, Menon negotiated a deal with them, and under the deal, the Rahejas got full control over the cable company. Menon used the consideration the Rahejas paid him to provide Kumar a "golden handshake".
Afterwards an attempt by Zee Group to acquire Asianet from Menon fell through. This was apparently because the severance agreement with the cable company prohibits the channel's takeover by a company with interest in cable operations.
Rajiv Chandrasekhar era (2006 - 2008)Edit
In late 2006 Reji Menon - after months long speculations - partially pulled out of Asianet turning over control to Rajeev Chandrasekhar. At the time, Asianet was the leader amongst the Malayalam channels accounting for 35% of Kerala's total advertisement market. Chandrasekhar had acquired a 51% stake in the Asianet channels (Asianet, Asianet News, and Asianet Plus) through Jupiter Entertainment Ventures (JEV) in October 2006. While there was no official word from Asianet on the size of the investment, the figure is thought to range between INR 120-150 crore. The remaining 49% stake was still held by Reji Menon and Asianet MD K. Madhavan with Zee Group holding a small 3% stake. Madhavan continued as the MD of Asianet, while Chandrasekhar took over as the Chairman of the company. Asianet Communications soon launched its foray into Kannada and Telugu television industry with Asianet Suvarna and Asianet Sitara.
STAR India acquisitions (2008 - 2014)Edit
Asianet was restructured into four companies in June 2008 (general entertainment, news, radio and media infrastructure). This move was to allow separate investments in each company. STAR India started talks with the owners of the Asianet channels in August, 2008.
STAR India eventually bought a 51% stake in Asianet Communications and formed joint venture with JEV in November, 2008. The joint venture, called "STAR Jupiter", comprised all general entertainment channels of Asianet Communications (Asianet, Asianet Plus, Asianet Suvarna and Asianet Sitara) and Star Vijay. Star India had reportedly paid $235 million in cash for the 51% stake and assumed net debt of approximately $20 million. It's not clear how much stake Menon held in the new STAR Jupiter venture. Prior to forming the JV, it was known that the original founder had held about 26% stake.
STAR India increased its stake in Asianet Communications to 75% in July 2010 (for which STAR India paid around $90 million in cash), and to 87%, by acquiring 12% stake for $160 million in June, 2013. The later move was by virtue of acquiring a 19% equity stake in Vijay TV from Chandrasekhar and Asianet Communications MD Madhavan. Following the June, 2013 investment, Asianet Communications was valued at $1.33 billion. STAR India acquired 100% stake in Asianet Communications (buying the remaining 13% stake) in March, 2014.
Coverage and viewershipEdit
Asianet has a presence in over 60 countries worldwide including the Indian sub-continent, China, South East Asia, Middle East, Europe, United States and the lower half of the former Soviet Union.
Programming and showsEdit
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Rupert Murdoch's grand takeover in Kerala". Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Star buys majority in Asianet; forms JV with Rajeev Chandrasekhar". Reuters. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- Kulkarni, Raghuvir Badrinath & Mahesh (17 July 2013). "Interesting tussle on to gain control of 'Kannada Prabha'". Archived from the original on 27 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019 – via Business Standard.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "STAR India acquires 100% Stake In Asianet Communications - MediaNama". medianama.com. Archived from the original on 27 July 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Reporter, B. S. (16 November 2008). "Star TV buys majority in Jupiter Entertainment". Business Standard India. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Star buys majority in Asianet; forms JV with Rajeev Chandrasekhar | Reuters". In.reuters.com. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- VCCircle (17 November 2008). "M & A Star Buys Majority In Asianet; Forms JV With Rajeev Chandrasekhar". contentSutra. Retrieved 16 July 2010.