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UTV Software Communications (abbreviated as UTV) is an Indian mass media conglomerate owned by The Walt Disney Company India. UTV was incorporated as United Television Software Communications on 22 June 1990 by Ronnie and Zarina Screwvala.

UTV Software Communications Ltd.
United Television Software Communications Pvt. (1990–1998)
IndustryMedia conglomerate
Founded22 June 1990; 29 years ago (1990-06-22)
FoundersRonnie Screwvala
Zarina Screwvala
Key people
Mahesh Samat (Managing director)
ProductsCable television, publishing, films, music, video games, broadcasting
OwnerWalt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International
ParentThe Walt Disney Company India
  • First Future Agri and Developers
  • IG Interactive Entertainment
  • Smriti Irani Television (50%)
  • UTV Communications (USA)
  • UTV Indiagames

The company later became public, on 27 November 1995, and was renamed to UTV Software Communications effective 19 March 1998.[1] UTV was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Indian National Stock Exchange, and its motion picture division, UTV Motion Pictures Plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

In August 2006, The Walt Disney Company acquired a 14.85 percent stake in UTV.[2] This was subsequently hiked to 32.1 percent in 2008, the same level as UTV's founders Ronnie Screwvala and Zarina Screwvala.[3] The remaining shares were publicly traded. Disney eventually increased its ownership in UTV to 100% in 2012, making UTV Communications Software a wholly owned subsidiary.[4]


At the time of incorporation, the group was primarily engaged in the production of television content for Doordarshan-Prasar Bharti and production of ad films. In 1992, with the entry of satellite TV, Zee TV commissioned the group to produce around 250 hours of content, making it one of the largest content providers. Around this time, it also expanded into the businesses of in-flight entertainment programming and dubbing. In 1993, the company acquired programs from outside producers and marketing airtime for UTV channels. In 1995, it launched a daily soap titled "Shanti" and ventured into the movie distribution business.

In May 1995, it acquired a 54.60% stake in Laezer Production to enter the area of post-production. Laezer Production was incorporated on 29 January 1982 and became a public company effective 27 November 1995. Subsequent to the acquisition of the 54.60% UTV Group stake, Laezer Production was renamed as UTV Studios in December 1995. At that time, United Studios Limited (USL) was engaged in the business of providing post-production facilities to television software houses, private producers and advertisers.

In 1996, Disney contracted the UTV Group to dub its distributed feature film library into Indian languages. During this year, the company’s In-flight Entertainment division, which was supplying Air India only, started catering to other international airlines.

In 1998, the company's subsidiary USL took over Ram Mohan Biographies, an animation production house pioneered by Ram Mohan, one of the leading animation artists in the country. The animation division in USL was called RM-USL and thereafter was rebranded as UTV Toons and remained as a division of USL.

The company then diversified into broadcasting by acquiring a controlling interest in Vijay Television in November 1998. Vijay Television was incorporated on 30 May 1996 and operated Vijay TV, a 24-hour Tamil-language channel out of Chennai. The Udayar family of Chennai initially controlled the channel as a general-entertainment network since 1992. United Breweries Group acquired the operational control of the channel in 1995 and the name was changed to Vijay TV. The UTV Group acquired the controlling interest from the United Breweries Group.

In 2000, it incorporated a group company called UTV Net Solutions, in which it held an 86% stake. UTVNet was in the business of Internet content creation and aggregation, Indian

regional language portals (with dual language content) and leveraging of their audiovisual library rights for Internet use. In 2000, UTVNet started the business of broadband content aggregation under the brand name, through its subsidiary Pte. Ltd., Singapore.

From 2000 to 2001, the UTV Group initiated a corporate restructuring exercise to consolidate their holdings in certain group companies and subsidiaries. Its main goal was to maximise shareholder value, remove conflict of interest and build a powerful combined entity.

From 2002 to 2003, the group acquired the studio business of Western Outdoor Media Technologies (WOMTL) to attain leadership position in the post-production, special effects and animation businesses. The studio operations of WOMTL were thus merged with the group’s post-production business.

In October 2005, after a $10 million outsourcing partnership with US-based BKN New Media Inc., UTV Toons moved to expand to 200 employees and purchased additional software licenses.[5]

Acquisition by DisneyEdit

Between 2007 and 2011, UTV was targeted for an acquisition by Fuse Global and Global Media Fund. Both corporations had approached UTV Software Communications and made several attempts to play a role in becoming a financier to the studio, but neither deals materialised.

The Walt Disney Company acquired a 50.44 per cent stake in the company, making them the majority shareholder and bringing the company into the Disney group, and in 2011, Disney offered to acquire the outstanding shares of UTV Software Communications held by public shareholders and stakeholders of the company in a deal valued around Rs 20 billion (US$297 million).[6] Upon the buyout, the company was delisted from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company in 31 January 2012, being re-organised under The Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pte Ltd.

Corporate structureEdit

Subsidiaries/joint venturesEdit

As of 31 March 2009, the company has the following subsidiaries and joint ventures:

UTV Motion Pictures (UMP) PLCEdit

UTV Motion Pictures (UMP) was a division created on 27 March 2007. On 2 July 2007, UMP Plc shares were admitted to trading on Alternate Investment Market ("AIM") of the London Stock Exchange. UTV Software Communications holds a 76.82% controlling stake of UMP Plc which in turn holds a 99.75% controlling stake in UTV Motion Pictures (Mauritius) Limited.

UTV Communications (USA) LLC (UTV USA)Edit

UTV Communications (USA) LLC is a subsidiary created on 26 April 2004 with the goal of carrying out film acquisition, syndication and distribution business in the United States.

IG Interactive Entertainment Limited (IG)Edit

IG is a subsidiary created on 6 September 2004 with the mission to carry out film acquisition, syndication and distribution business in the United Kingdom.

UTV TV Content Limited (UTV TV)Edit

UTV TV Content Limited (UTV TV) is a division created on 9 July 2007 to carry on the business of producing, exhibiting and distribution of television series. RB Entertainment Limited ("RBEL"), a 60/40 joint venture between UTV TV and Rajesh Beri, was created on 6 May 2008 to produce content for television channels.

First Future Agri and Developers Limited (FFADL)Edit

First Future Agri and Developers Limited (FFADL) was created on 7 April 2008. On 11 June 2008, UTV acquired a 100% equity stake in FFADL for a consideration of Rs. 100,000, thereby making it a wholly owned subsidiary of that company. On 25 March 2009 FFADL further allotted 15.99 million equity shares at par to UTV. The status of FFADL was changed from a private limited company to public limited company on April 29, 2009.

UTV Global Broadcasting Limited (UGBL)Edit

UTV Global Broadcasting Limited (UGBL) is a division of UTV created on 6 June 2007 as a broadcaster for satellite television channels in India. On 8 August 2008 UTV acquired a 75% stake in equity shares of UGBL. UGBL is a parent company for its two wholly owned subsidiaries, Genx Entertainment Limited (Genx) and UTV Entertainment Limited (UETL). Genx and UETL are engaged in the business of up linking and broadcasting entertainment for non-news and current affairs channels from India.

On 30 September 2009, UTV acquired an additional 10% equity stake in UGBL from Unilazer Exports and Management Consultants Limited ("Unilazer") for a total consideration of the total stake of the company in UGBL increased to 85%.

UTV Games Limited (UTV Games)Edit

UTV Games Limited is a division of UTV created on 5 September 2008 to oversee all of its video game assets. On 10 September 2008, UTV Games Limited acquired an 80% equity stake in True Games Interactive Inc, (True Games) an online gaming start-up company based in California (United States) thereby making True Games a downstream subsidiary of the company.

UTV New Media Limited (UNML)Edit

UTV New Media Limited (UNML) is a division of UTV created on 20 September 2007. It develops and maintains websites and acquisition and exploitation of online rights on mobile, gaming and web platforms. UTV New Media was the division that managed UTV's video game development companies.

Smriti Irani Television Limited (SITL)Edit

Smriti Irani Television Limited is a 50/50 joint venture between UTV and Smriti Irani created on 6 December 2007 to house the joint venture with Irani for television content production.

UTV Toons LimitedEdit

UTV forayed into animation production in 1998 with the acquisition of Ram Mohan Biographies. UTV's division, UTV Toons, handles its animation business.

Film production and distributionEdit

UTV ventured into film distribution in 1996 with its UTV Motion Pictures Plc. division. UTV Motion Pictures portfolio includes Hindi-language movies, regional South Asian movies, domestic animated features and international productions and co-productions. The studio's rights and distribution are currently held exclusively by The Walt Disney Company India which uses UTV Motion Pictures as the exclusive distributor for its films in South Asian markets. It has filled this role since 2013.

Television productionEdit

UTV started off producing television content and advertisements, partnering with Indian state-broadcaster Doordarshan in 1990. With the entry of satellite television to India, UTV expanded its functions and produced television programmes for other Indian TV channels, such as Zee TV and Star Plus.

In 1995, UTV produced India's first daily soap opera, Shanti, for Doordarshan. UTV was also contracted by Disney to dub its cartoons in Hindi. Revenues from the television segment increased by 31% from Rs. 1,006 million in the previous year to Rs. 1,317 million during the year primarily because of the growth in the television business. The segment reported a profit of Rs. 54 million, compared to Rs. 180 million in the previous year.

The following is the complete list of TV programmes produced by UTV:

Title Channel
Back to the Floor BBC World
Bhabhi Star Plus
Bollywood Inc. BBC World
Bombay Talking Zee Cafe
Business Bytes BBC World
C.A.T.S. Sony Entertainment Television
Chakravyuha DD National
Chamatkar DD National
Chooha Mantar Hungama TV
Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka Zee TV
Choti Maa Zee TV
CNN Indiadotcom CNN
CNN Style South Asia CNN
Dance India Dance Zee TV
Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava? Life OK
Ek Se Badhkar Ek Zee TV
Face to Face with Karan Thapar BBC Worl
Full Toss Inter School Cricket Hungama TV
Gajab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaniyaan Imagine TV
Gee Boom Bha Gemini TV
Gol Gol Gulam Hungama TV
Hard Talk India BBC World
Hero - Bhakti Hi Shakti Hai Hungama TV
Hip Hip Hurray Zee TV
LOC:Life Out Of Control Star Plus
Kabhi Hero Kabhi Zero Hungama TV
Kabhie To Nazar Milao Sony Entertainment Television
Kehta Hai Dil Star Plus
Khichdi Star Plus
Maayke Se Bandhi Dor Star Plus
Meher DD National]]
Pan Asia - Journey in Asian Cuisine Star World
Rakt Sambandh Imagine TV
Saanp Seedi Zee TV
Saaya Sony Entertainment Television
Salanam Vijay TV
Sanya Hungama TV
Sarhadein [ee TV
Sea Hawks DD Metro
Shagun Star Plus
Shaka Laka Boom Boom Star Plus
Shanno Ki Shaadi Star Plus
Shanti DD National
Shararat Star Plus
Shisha Hungama TV
Shubh Vivah Sony Entertainment Television]]
Smriti Star Plus
Sohni Mahiwal DD National
Sondha Bandham Sun TV
Special Squad STAR One
Style! BBC World
Stuntmen of Bollywood National Geographic Channel
Bournvita Quiz Contest Zee TV
Tiger Hungama TV


UTV entered into broadcasting through its acquisition of Vijay TV from United Breweries. It was later sold to Star TV in two phases, in 2001 and 2004.

In 2004, UTV launched Hungama TV, a kids channel for the South Asian market. This channel was sold to Disney India in 2006.[7] Hungama TV was re-integrated into UTV Software Communications after it became a subsidiary to Disney.

In 2008, UTV re-entered the broadcasting business through its broadcast arm, UTV Global Broadcasting Ltd (UGBL). All UTV channels are now part of Disney India Media Networks


In December 2007, UTV's ventured into production of gaming software and content through its subsidiary UTV Media by acquiring Indiagames Ltd., an Indian gaming company.[8] It later went on to acquire Ignition Entertainment and True Games. After Disney acquired UTV Software Communications as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India, it liquidated UTV Ignition Games assets.


The UTV Group’s relationships include the following.


  1. ^ "UTV Software Communications > Company History > Media & Entertainment > Company History of UTV Software Communications - BSE: 532619, NSE: UTVSOF".
  2. ^ "Walt Disney set to take control in UTV". Hindustan Times.
  3. ^ "Walt Disney to more than double UTV stake to 32%". The Economic Times. 19 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Disney To Acquire Controlling Interest In UTV Software Communications Limited (UTV) In India". The Walt Disney Company. 31 January 2012.
  5. ^ "UTV expands Toons division". 25 October 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Walt Disney offers to acquire UTV for about Rs 2,000 crore".
  7. ^ "UTV sells Hungama TV to Walt Disney for $30.5 mln". One India.
  8. ^ "UTV Media to invest Rs 150 cr more in gaming". Business Standard.

External linksEdit