Star India Pvt. Ltd, a Murdoch company, has acquired age-old Screen magazine covering film and entertainment industry for six decades.
Owned by the Indian Express Group, the deal was announced on Monday and the deal will mark the end of print edition and transform it into digital-only format for India. Screen’s last edition will hit the stand this weekend and it currently circulates 15,000 copies.
Now, it will be part of Star India’s HotStar initiative. “With Screen coming to Hotstar we can set the ball rolling for the next phase of greater eyeball consumption in the entertainment genre. We believe Screen is a strong brand, well remembered, and its credibility coupled with the power of Star Network is a large opportunity. The brand will go fully digital in the next few weeks,” said Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, Star India.
Hotstar is a mobile application offering more than 35,000 hours of content in 7 languages, promising viewers movies, television shows and live sports (cricket, football, tennis and kabaddi).
The deal is estimated to be in the range of Rs.30 crore to Rs.40 crore, according to Mint without official confirmation from Star India.
With this, Star now owns the popular Screen Awards. “Screen is a strong and reputable franchise and gives us access to the entertainment editorial suite and the tinsel world, where news that shapes trends is made by film stars, directors and producers,” said Uday Shankar, chief executive, Star India, in a statement.
Last month, Star India acquired Telugu television channel Maa TV in its largest acquisition in India, in a deal estimated to be in excess of Rs.2,000 crore.