UTV denies purchasing rights for Salman starrer 'Dabangg 2'

Arbaaz Khan will direct Dabangg2 after Abhinav opted out from it, with Salman and Sonakshi  as the lead pair

Mumbai: UTV Motion Pictures has brushed aside rumours of purchasing the rights of the sequel to Salman Khan-Sonakshi Sinha starrer, 'Dabangg 2' for Rs140 crore, reports PTI.

'Dabangg' became the highest grosser of 2010 and went on to bag several honours at different award ceremonies including the National award for wholesome entertainment.

There were reports that Salman Khan's 'Dabangg 2' has been picked up by UTV Motion Pictures for Rs140 crore including the print and advertising costs but the production house has rubbished all the talk.

"There have been irresponsible reports in certain sections of the media that UTV has bought the rights for 'Dabangg 2' for Rs140 crore, despite us clearly denying this," an official statement from UTV Motion Pictures said.

"We would like to clarify that UTV has not purchased the rights of the movie in question. We have been very open about announcing our new projects and communicated them to the media and will continue to do so. We hope this puts all speculations to rest," the statement said.

The 2010 action film was directed by Abhinav Kashyap and produced by Arbaaz Khan under the Arbaaz Khan Productions. 

For the sequel, Arbaaz will don the director's hat after Abhinav opted out of the second installment.

The original cast of Salman and Sonakshi will not change. However, the story will be shifted to a larger city. And Sonu Sood who played the baddie in the first part, has been replaced by Prakash Raj to play the villain.

The sequel will go on floors in March and the film will be a 2012 Christmas release.



Indians' optimism over job prospects for next one year dips says Nielsen

Though Indians remain optimistic about their jobs, levels of optimism have dropped, not surprisingly since macro- economic indicators point towards an overall slowdown of the economy

New Delhi: Indians' optimism over their job prospects in the next 12 months has declined in the last quarter of 2011 although they are the most confident compared to global peers, according to a report by global information and insights provider Nielsen.

The latest global consumer confidence findings for the fourth quarter in 2011 by Nielsen that polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries, pointed out that Indians' optimism over their job prospects dipped to 78% in the fourth quarter of 2011 from 81% in the previous quarter.

Notwithstanding the decline, Indians still topped the most confident chart on job prospects, followed by Indonesia (72%), the Philippines (72%), Brazil (71%) and China (68%), it said.

"Though Indians remain optimistic about their jobs, levels of optimism have dropped, not surprisingly since macro- economic indicators point towards an overall slowdown of the economy," Nielsen India Managing Director Justin Sargent said in a statement.

The equity markets have been weak and the currency has been devalued considerably, adding to the worries of the Indian consumer, he added.

The report further said 76% of Indian respondents are confident about the state of their personal finances compared to 77% in the previous quarter.

Indonesia continues to lead this scale with 83%, followed by the Philippines at 82% and Brazil with 80%. Indian optimism over their personal finances was at 80% in Q2, 2011, it added.

Yet, when it comes to overall consumer confidence levels, Indians continue to be the most confident, for the eight consecutive quarters across the globe, rising one index point in the fourth quarter over the previous year.

"The stabilisation of India's consumer confidence metric is encouraging and the retention of the top spot globally reminds us of the inherent strength of the Indian economy, the savings mindset of the Indian consumer," Mr Sargent said.




Sahara to renew sponsorship deal with Indian hockey

Sahara which decided to part ways with from the Indian Cricket team last week will be signing a five-year deal with Indian Hockey team

New Delhi: Their association with cricket might have gone sour but Sahara Group is set to renew its long-term sponsorship deal with Indian hockey by signing a five-year agreement with Hockey India, the modalities of which have been worked out, reports PTI.

Under the agreement, expected to be signed in the next few days, India's men's and women's hockey teams at both the senior and junior level will get the financial backing of the corporate giant till 2017.

"More or less everything has been finalised. Most probably tomorrow, the agreement would be signed. We are hoping for a deal worth between Rs15 to Rs17 crore because we need more money to promote the sport," a Hockey India official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, a top official of Sahara said the company is keen to continue its association with hockey and the picture will become clear within the next two to three days.

"Nothing has been finalised as yet. Talks are on with Hockey India and within next 2-3 days we are expecting to take a decision," Sahara India's corporate communications head, Abhijit Sarkar told PTI.

"Our sponsorship deal with Indian hockey ended last month after and Hockey India has approached us to renew the contract," he added.

If a deal is worked out, the Indian team will sport the Sahara logo on their jerseys during the Olympic qualifiers to be held here from February 18 to 26.

Indian hockey's six-month extended sponsorship deal with Sahara ended last month before the five-match Test series against South Africa (for men) and four-Test rubber against Azerbaijan (for women), following which HI approached the company for another extension on a pro-rata basis.

The Sahara Group had first signed a sponsorship deal with then Indian Hockey Federation in July 2003 for eight years.

The development comes as a major boost for the Indian team in this Olympic year.

The men's team will face Canada, Singapore, France, Italy and Poland, while the women's team will square off against South Africa, Poland, Canada, Ukraine and Italy in the Olympic qualifiers.

Earlier, in a sudden development Sahara, sponsor of the Indian Cricket team for over 11 years, decided to part ways with the BCCI last week.

The company had announced that the money saved would be used for the development of other sports and welfare work.


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