Sony Pictures Television's India Unit Announces Leadership Shake-Up

MSM India
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, director Anurag Kashyap, MSM Motion Pictures deputy president and head Sneha Rajani and MSM CEO N P Singh at the recent announcement of an upcoming TV show.

The division, Multi Screen Media, has appointed new heads to its film affiliate and TV network, which says it reaches 700 million viewers worldwide.

Sony Pictures Television's India unit, Multi Screen Media Private Limited, has announced a management shake-up for its film and TV units.

Sneha Rajani will assume the position of deputy president and head of MSM Motion Pictures, while Nachiket Pantvaidya, who recently joined after leaving News Corp's Star India network, will take over Rajani's earlier position as senior executive vp and business head of MSM's flagship Hindi network, Sony Entertainment Television (SET).

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MSM is among the top five broadcasters in India, along with competitors such as News Corp.'s Star India, international join venture Viacom18 and Indian broadcaster Zee Networks. MSM claims its broadcasting business reaches over 700 million viewers worldwide, including the Indian sub-continent and the overseas South Asian diaspora.

The broadcaster also runs hybrid Hindi movies and sports channel SET MAX, comedy entertainment channel SAB, English movie channel PIX, Hindi music channel MIX, sports channel SIX and digital entertainment channel Sony LIV.

MSM announced that Anooj Kapoor will assume additional responsibilities as senior executive vp and business head at SAB and will “also a new initiative in the Hindi entertainment space.”

Rajani will oversee MSM Motion Pictures' film production initiatives and also continue to handle film acquisitions for the network. She has been associated with MSM for over 15 years, in which time she launched MAX and led the channel for ten years before assuming responsibility of the flagship SET channel. Rajani has played a key role in MSM’s movie buying strategy and was also instrumental in leading its cricket properties, such as the International Cricket Council's World Cup and the Indian Premier League.

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Pantvaidya was former business head at Star India's flagship Hindi channel StarPlus and earlier held several roles at the network. He returns to MSM having worked there earlier from 1996 to 2004.

 “I am certain that Sneha, Nachiket and Anooj will revitalize and provide fresh perspective to their respective areas of responsibility,” said MSM CEO N. P. Singh. “Each brings unique strengths to grow the business and we wish them the best in their new roles. I am confident that 2014 will be a year of innovation and growth for MSM.”

Recently, Singh (MSM's former COO) was upped to MSM CEO replacing Man Jit Singh who was named president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment relocating to LA. He replaces David Bishop who leaves in March after the expiration of his contract.

MSM, which operates as a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, Inc., was known as SET India Private Limited until a rebrand in December 2007. SET India was launched in 1995 by Sony Pictures Television in partnership with Indian promoters, including Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff. In 2012, SPT announced it would pay $271 million to ramp up its stake to about 94 percent in MSM by acquiring approximately 32 percent equity.

In addition, MSM runs a joint venture with Discovery Communications' television distribution entity The One Alliance, which distributes a wide bouquet of channels from both parties and other broadcasters. These include the Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo and channels from the TV Today Indian news network, among others.