Viacom acquires 50 percent stake in Indian regional network


Mumbai, July 31 (IANS) Mass media company Viacom Inc on Friday announced that it has acquired a 50 percent interest in Prism TV Private Limited, a regional network, for Rs.9.4 billion (approximately $153 million).

Prism TV operates various regional entertainment channels in India like ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were earlier re-branded under the Colors umbrella.

Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc, completed the transaction on Friday with Shinano Retail Private Limited, which is owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited.

Both parties received clearance from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board earlier this month.

“We’re thrilled to be broadening our presence in one of the largest and fastest growing TV markets in the world, and deepening our already strong partnership with Network18. This acquisition is an important step in building on our leadership position in India, a key market in Viacom’s international growth strategy,” Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom, said in a statement.

With this acquisition, Viacom Inc. will hold 50 percent of Prism TV and the remaining 50 percent will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group, Viacom’s partner in the Viacom18 joint venture.

Bob Bakish, president and CEO, Viacom International Media Networks, said: “Regional TV networks – and regional ad markets – are the next wave of growth in India. Having a
strong national and broad regional presence gives us a powerful platform to launch
additional brands, and introduce successful franchises and formats across India.”


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