India's entertainment sector attracting foreign funds: Variety

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Mumbai, March 13 (IANS) India may have started the process of economic reforms rather late compared to China, but it has since opened up to the world much faster than the Chinese as far as the entertainment business is concerned, says Hollywood trade magazine Variety.

While China is still wary of allowing foreign companies a stake in the entertainment sector, Indian entertainment corporate entities are throwing their doors open for joint business deals with their foreign counterparts.

A report in Variety says: "Although China is too big and growing too fast to ignore, it's India that comes out on top when attracting coin from financial investors and industry alike."

With the South Korean film industry losing its shine of late, that of Japan being too steady to welcome new moves at this stage and the Chinese industry proving itself to be non-accommodative, Hollywood investors, according to Variety, are now "reassessing their previous cool attitudes" towards India.

Thanks to this change of attitude, some of India's content providers could raise money in the London Stock Exchange in recent times.

Moreover, major Hollywood studios like Viacom, NBC, Universal, Dream Works, besides Warner Bros., Sony and Disney have already made sizeable investments in India's entertainment sector while Warner Bros., for example, recently called off a deal it had signed with a Chinese production firm.

Variety quoted Ashok Amritraj, chief operating officer of Hyde Park Entertainment, as saying that while his company is close to launching local production deals in India, South Korea and Japan, "he cannot figure out how to do this in China yet".

Media baron Rupert Murdoch knows that even better. "Trying to build an entertainment business in China is simply too hard," he told Variety.

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