The remaining 50% interest will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group. Prism TV owns regional channels like ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | August 3, 2015
Viacom Inc has acquired a 50 per cent interest in Prism TV for Rs 9.4 billion. Prism TV owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India, including ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were recently rebranded under the ‘Colors’ umbrella.
The transaction was completed today between Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc, and Shinano Retail, a company effectively 100 per cent owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries. The parties received clearance from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) earlier this month.
With this acquisition, Viacom Inc will hold 50 per cent of Prism TV, while the remaining 50 per cent interest will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group, Viacom’s partner in the Viacom18 joint venture. Viacom18 operates 10 channels, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Colors.
The deal gives Viacom a significant presence in the fast growing regional TV sector in India. Collectively, regional TV stations account for the second largest share of viewing in the Indian market, behind only Hindi general entertainment channels.
Commenting on the development, Philippe Dauman, President and CEO, Viacom, said, “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.”
AP Parigi, Group CEO, Network18, added here, “This acquisition by Viacom International Media Networks further strengthens the partnership with Network18, both in terms of depth and breadth. I am confident India will emerge as a global entertainment powerhouse in the year ahead.”
“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,” said, Bob Bakish, President and CEO, Viacom International Media Networks.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, remarked, “This acquisition is a big milestone for Viacom and Network18 and it showcases their combined conviction to build a powerful broadcast offering for the Indian market. We are delighted by the transaction and the next growth phase for the companies.”