Mumbai: Zee Network has bought the satellite rights for Hrithik Roshan-starrer 'Agneepath' for Rs 41 crore beating what Sony Entertainment is said to have paid for Aamir Khan-Kareena Kapoor's tentatively titled cop caper 'Dhuaan' (Rs 38-40 crore).

The transaction has also outclassed Star Network's reported Rs 35 crore bet on this year's Diwali release, 'RA.One', trade sources said.

Jayantilal Gada, CMD, Pen India Pvt Ltd, the agency that aids the purchase of films for Zee Cinema, justifies a hefty price tag, saying that channels study the production banner's track record on the small screen before pitching to buy the satellite rights.

"We chose to buy 'Agneepath' over several other biggies because Karan's (producer Karan Johar of Dharma Productions) movies have always delivered great numbers. And the promo of this film showed promise," he said.

Without commenting on the figures, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, "there are only a handful of leading satellite channels in the market. Likewise, there are only four or five
really bankable stars, and not more than 10 big films a year.

Zee has shelled out the money for 'Agneepath' to break the pattern of Karan's films going to either Star or Sony, and to strengthen their market position."

According to the trade circuit, the TV satellite rights market has grown more than 10 times in the last decade alone.

"Big flicks bring channels high TRPs and bumper ad revenue. And no channel keeps a film to itself. Syndication is a common practice, and it also helps recover costs, that otherwise wouldn't make economical sense," Amod said, recalling that the 2007 hit, 'Jab We Met', was the first film in recent times to be syndicated to different channels.