Anil to foray into TV broadcasting space

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New Delhi, June 20

In a strategic move to enter the television broadcasting space, Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd will form an equal joint venture with US media conglomerate CBS Corp to own and operate TV channels.

RBN, previously known as Reliance Media World Ltd, will form a 50:50 joint venture with CBS Studios International, a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corp, "for the purpose of owing and/or operating a portfolio of television channels," the company informed the stock exchanges. With RBN’s multi-media presence and integrated sales offerings, combined with the content muscle of CBS Corp, BIG CBS stands to bite into a sizable slice of India's burgeoning television industry.

"As currently proposed, the joint venture would include certain programming rights across the countries of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan for now," it said in a June 19 letter to the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. RBN and CBS will have equal 50 per cent equity interest in the joint venture.

The joint venture will initially broadcast English language general entertainment channels and will explore Hindi and regional language general entertainment channels in the next phase.

"RBN and CBS have today (June 19) signed a preliminary, non-binding term sheet, which is subject to, among other things, customary diligence, the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation, etc., which are presently underway and which the parties intend to endeavour in good faith to complete within a period of one month," RBN said.

RBN operates India's largest radio network (92.7 BIG FM) and is into outdoor, promotions and events. CBS Corp's television network is America's No. 1 broadcast network. CBS has developed some of America's biggest hit shows like CSI, NSIC, America's Next Top Model and The Oprah Winfrey Show. — PTI
 
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