Mumbai: Star Plus, the flagship Hindi entertainment channel from Star India Pvt. Ltd, will soon bring Shah Rukh Khan’s latest film My Name is Khan to the small screen. The channel is said to have paid approximately Rs15 crore for the satellite television rights of the film, co-produced by actor Shah Rukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.

Anupam Vasudev, executive vice-president (marketing) at Star, confirmed that the channel had acquired television broadcast rights for the film, but he refused to comment on the price paid for the rights.

However, according to a senior executive at a rival channel who specializes in buying films for the small screen, Star forked out Rs15 crore for My Name is Khan. Incidentally, Star’s sister company Fox Star Studios had bought the marketing and distribution rights of My Name is Khan, reportedly for Rs100 crore.

Vasudev maintained Star Plus expected the film to do well since it was a new and a big-budget release. “Paa (featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan) has delivered 2-2.5 in ratings, which is a reasonably good performance," he said.

Attracting viewers: A still from the movie My Name is Khan. The TV screening of a big Bollywood film could trigger a surge of 30-40 gross rating points for the channel during the week in which it is aired.

Based on his discussions with Star India executives, a media buyer, who requested anonymity, said that the channel was charging Rs3 crore for 300 seconds of airtime, for the title sponsorship of the film. “Ten seconds of advertising inventory around the film is going for as much as Rs10 lakh. If I had that kind of money, why wouldn’t I put it on the Indian Premier League (IPL)?" he asked, referring to the ongoing IPL T20 series that is hawking advertising inventory at a premium.

He said the steep tariff on the inventory is unjustified as the film was not a huge commercial success.

Meanwhile, Mona Jain, chief operating officer of VivaKi Exchange, the centralized buying unit of French advertising and communications firm Publicis Groupe SA, said the channel could justify the high ad rates if it telecasts the films several times. “The movie will spark off an interest, but there ought to be multiple airings in a single day. Just like when Star Movies got the rights to James Cameron film Titanic and it was shown four times in a day. It makes sense for both the channel and the sponsors associated with it," she said.

To be sure, the race among Hindi entertainment channels for big films has been heating up. Star Plus recently acquired the TV rights to other new films such as Rann, London Dreams, Aladdin and De Dana Dhan. Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd’s Hindi channel Colors, meanwhile, won the TV rights to releases such as Kaminey and Kurbaan.

The TV screening of a big Bollywood film could trigger a spike of almost 30-40 GRPs (gross rating points) for the channel during the week in which it is aired. That has often helped channels to displace competition in the viewership ranking.

In the period from 14-20 March, TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd’s TV viewership data shows Star on the top with a 24% channel share, Colors at No. 2 with a 23% share and Zee TV in the third place with a 20% share.