STAR CJ Network India, a joint venture between Star India and South Korean company CJ Home Shopping, has received an FIPB approval for setting up a home shopping channel in India. The approval allows the joint venture to invest up to 100 percent foreign investment in the channel. Media reports had suggested that the JV is looking to invest around $2 Million, and is probably going to be launched in early 2009.

The channel will compete with HomeShop18, the venture from Network18 which has both a TV and an online presence. In July this year, Homeshop18 had raised Rs. 90 crores in a second round of funding from its investors SAIF Partners (Rs. 68.3 crores) and Capital18 (Rs. 21.3 crores).

What attracts STAR to this genre? Well, for one thing – the growth. Going through Network18s financial results, I noticed that Homeshop18 has doubled its revenues since Q1 – they reported a quarter-on-quarter increase in operating revenues of 64%, at Rs. 5.03 crores for Q209, up from Rs. 2.46 crores for Q109, and an increase in orders of almost 50 percent. So how big is the market for sauna belts in India? Not that Network18 is doing well, though – the company has reported net losses for the last many quarters – this time, of Rs. 16.77 crores.

Disclosure: I own an inconsequential number of shares of Network18