Hrithik Roshan has finally beaten the Khans in the movie rat race. According to trade insiders, Zee Network has apparently bought the satellite rights for his upcoming Agneepath for a whopping Rs 41 crore, which could be a new record.
The transaction beats what Sony Entertainment supposedly paid for Aamir Khan-Kareena Kapoor’s tentatively titled cop caper Dhuan (Rs 38-40 crore), and has also outclassed Star Network’s reported Rs 35 crore bet on this year’s Diwali release, RA.One.
<b1>Jayantilal Gada, CMD, Pen India Pvt Ltd, the agency that aids the purchase of films for Zee Cinema, justifies a hefty price tag, saying that channels study the production banner’s track record on the small screen before pitching to buy satellite rights. “We chose to buy Agneepath over several other biggies because Karan’s (producer Karan Johar of Dharma Productions) movies have always delivered great numbers. And the promo of this film showed promise,” he adds.
Without commenting on the figures, tradesmith Amod Mehra says, “There are only a handful of leading satellite channels in the market. Likewise, there are only four or five really bankable stars, and not more than 10 big films a year. Zee has shelled out the money for Agneepath to break the pattern of Karan’s films going to either Star or Sony, and to strengthen their market position.”
According to the trade circuit, the TV satellite rights market has grown more than 10 times in the last decade alone. “Big flicks bring channels high TRPs and bumper ad revenue. And no channel keeps a film to itself. Syndication is a common practice, and it also helps recover costs, that otherwise wouldn’t make economical sense,” points out Amod, recalling that the 2007 hit, Jab We Met, was the first film in recent memory to be syndicated to different channels.