Star India, 21st Century Fox's pay-TV group, has sold its 26% stake in Balaji Telefilms.The film and TV production house has been responsible for some of India’s biggest hit soap operas including "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi," "Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii" and "Kasautii Zindagii Kay."Star acquired a 21% stake in 2008 and subsequently increased that to 25.99%.According to local reports the stake was sold in a stock market transaction at an average of 63.60 rupees (99 cents), implying a loss...
Ekta Kapoor practically invented the Indian television soap, creating familial sagas that routinely have the nation in thrall. Targeting the hitherto not catered for Indian housewife market, some of her early successes include “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi,” “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki,” “Kasautii Zindagii Kay,” “Pavitra Rishta,” and “Bade Acche Lagte Hain.”
A firm believer in giving audiences what they want, Kapoor does not shy away from creating shows that some dub regressive, dealing often with themes of superstition and reincarnation. One of Balaji’s current shows, “Naagin,” a supernatural fantasy with shape-shifting snakes that is broadcast on Viacom 18’s Colors TV, is a massive hit amongst rural audiences and is easily the number one entertainment show in India by some distance.
Despite enjoying hits like “The Dirty Picture” and “Ragini MMS” in recent years, Balaji Telefilms’ film production division Balaji Motion Pictures has temporarily decided to cease production after the box office underperformance in rapid succession of “Azhar,” “Great Grand Masti,” “Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3” and “A Flying Jatt” in 2016.
Instead, Kapoor is channelling her energies into ALT Balaji Digital, a web-based direct to consumer platform that already has several series in production.
Kapoor, daughter of popular Bollywood star Jeetendra, began working at the family owned Balaji group in 1995 at the age of 20 and is referred to as the queen of Indian television today.