Gaming: UTV Board Approves Acquisition of Potters Stake In Ignition Entertainment
IG Interactive Entertainment, the wholly owned subsidiary of BSE listed UTV Software Communications plans to increase their stake in Ignition Entertainment. UTVs board has approved the acquisition of the stake owned in Ignition by the Potters, who had initially funded the console gaming company. Note that the stake hasn’t been acquired yet, and UTV Software has declined to share any details with MediaNama.

According to our sources, IG Interactive Entertainment is the holding company for Ignition Entertainment and Indiagames. This acquisition of stake is an act of consolidation: with the Potters having exited, UTV Software and the promoters of UTV will hold equity in Ignition via IG Interactive. This will give IG Interactive the opportunity to raise further capital, with the Potters not involved.

Interestingly, IG Interactive essentially has a gaming presence across segments – in console gaming, with a bulk of Ignition Entertainment, and Mobile and broadband gaming through Indiagames. However, there is little or no clarity on the structuring of UTV companies – there’s UTV Software, UTV New Media, UTV Global Broadcasting, BIndass, Indiagames, Ignition Entertainment and UTV News, among others. Note that Disney has a 32 percent stake in UTV Software.

IPTV: World On-Demand Launch in Japan, Australia and New Zealand
UTV Global Broadcasting (UGB) has tied up with The New Media Group (TNMG) to launch its channels – UTV Movies, Hindi Movie Channel and the recently launched business channel UTVi on TNMGs IPTV platform in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, starting August 1 2008. The channels will be a part of the “Community Packages” intended for the South Asian Diaspora.

In this context, do read this recent Knowledge@Wharton interview with UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala. Screwvala says that there’s a segment of the audience that will not watch a movie in the theatre, so best to catch them at home in the second week. Also, if you show the movie in-flight means, people who aren’t able to watch the entire movie are likely to finish watching it later. Much more here.