The 74:26 IndiaCast - Disney UTV joint venture will provide 35 channels from the TV18, Viacom18,Â Disney UTV and A+E Networks | TV18
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | January 30, 2013
TV18 has announced that IndiaCast, theÂ multi-platform, global distribution company of TV18 and Viacom18, has formed a strategic joint venture with UGBL, a DisneyUTV group company, for the aggregation and wholesale distribution business of TV channels inIndia.
IndiaCast is a 50:50 JV between TV18 and Viacom18. The aforementioned new distribution venture is a step-down joint venture and is envisaged as a 74:26 JV between IndiaCast and Disney UTV. It will become operational post necessary regulatory approvals. IndiaCast will move its domestic distribution business into this new venture, while continuing to manage its international distribution operation as well as new media distribution forÂ TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks | TV18 and Eenadu channels.
DisneyUTV will also move its domestic distribution activities for its entire bouquet of nine channels to the new entity. The new step-down entity will hence provide 35 channels from the TV18, Viacom18, DisneyUTV, Eenadu Group and A+E Networks | TV18 to Cable, DTH and HITS platforms inIndia. The current IndiaCast management headed by Anuj Gandhi, CEO, will manage the joint venture.
TV18 will continue to hold majority economic interest in both IndiaCast and the new step-down joint venture through a combination of its direct holding through TV18 and the indirect holding through Viacom18. TV18âs effective economic interest in IndiaCast is 75% and ~56% in the new venture.
Announcing the transaction, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18, said, âThe Indian television industry in on the throes of a transformation on the back of digitisation. The distribution joint ventureÂ Â of TV18 and Viacom18 with DisneyUTV, announced today, is a landmark deal and will help in shaping the future course of the domestic distribution landscape. At TV18, we have always believed that as industry leaders we should not only forge and nurture successful partnerships but also spearhead initiatives that accrue benefits to all stakeholders.â
Commenting on the deal, Sai Kumar, Group CEO, said, âWe take great pride and pleasure in being a part of this strategic partnership announced today and are very excited by the opportunity that the impending digitisation of Indian television presents to us. We are confident that the coming together of some of the largest and most premier broadcasting properties in the country will significantly add to IndiaCastâs bargaining power and its strength as one ofIndiaâs foremost television distribution ventures.â
Anuj Gandhi said, âThis partnership will build a strong distribution company that will offer a broader and more diversified range to platforms giving us a foothold across genres â including in general entertainment,Â general and business news, movies,Â youth and kids genres. We have had a great first year for IndiaCast andÂ this JV will give our domestic distribution business scale and wider reach.â
âThere are some clear and unique synergies in this partnership. The new bouquet is a more comprehensive offering from the viewerâs perspective that gives the combined entity an edge in the marketplaceâ, said MK Anand, Managing Director â Media Networks, Disney UTV.