Colors spends big to acquire unreleased films

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Colors has spent a huge Rs 250 crore to acquire nearly 30 of the biggest unreleased Bollywood movie titles of this year.

Rajesh Kamat, chief executive of Colors and chief operating officer of Viacom, declined to comment on the investment, but said his firm has “acquired a lion�۪s share of the big budget films scheduled for release between now and March 2011”.

The channel’s new acquisitions include the first screenings of ‘Dabbang’ starring Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Guzaarish’, ‘Tees Maar Khan’ starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, ‘Golmaal 3’ with Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor, ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’ starring Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan.

TV rights to some of the big films such as ‘Dabbang’ and ‘Tees Maar Khan’ were acquired for between ’12 crore and ’15 crore. However, to recoup its cost, Viacom can syndicate these rights to other broadcasters both in India and abroad.

The company has also acquired rights to films that are still in the making such as ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ by Vishal Bhardwaj, Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Patiala House’ and ‘No One Killed Jessica’, among others. For producers, it makes sense to get broadcasters to underwrite a chunk of the costs of making a film by selling TV rights early. For instance, ‘Tees Maar Khan cost’ ’40 crore to make, according to a film trade analyst and Colors has acquired its TV rights for ’12 crore even before its release.

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