New Delhi: Reliance Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the media and entertainment arm of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-Adag) that has interests in film production, distribution and exhibition, FM radio, Internet businesses and television content is set to enter the broadcasting space, a company official close to the development and who did not wish to be identified said.
The firm will launch two new companies—Reliance Big TV Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and Reliance Big TV News Pvt. Ltd—to launch and operate a bouquet of about 20 channels. The news broadcasting company will launch four channels: two general news channels and two business news channels, one each in Hindi and English in both genres.
The non-news broadcasting company will launch music and movie channels, fivegeneral entertainment channels, and dedicated channels focused on children andlifestyle.
The Hindi general entertainment channel and three regional movie channels are likely to be launched by August. Reliance Entertainment recently approached the ministry of information and broadcasting for mandatory approvals for its channels.
On 8 February, the firm said investor George Soros had picked up a 3% stake in it for Rs395 crore, giving Reliance Entertainment a valuation of Rs13,035 crore.
R-Adag, through several affiliates and group companies, holds substantial equity stakes in several media and entertainment firms. These include NDTV Ltd, ETC Networks Ltd, TV Today Network Ltd, Padmalaya Telefilms Ltd and UTV Software Communications Ltd. The market value of R-Adag’s investments in the media and entertainment sector, as on 31 December 2007, the latest quarter for which data is available, was Rs952.09 crore.
The firm is also betting big on the Internet space and plans to launch at least eight new websites this year, including a jobs portal and a classifieds portal. The firm already runs gaming portal Zapak, social networking site BigAdda, and online movie rental business Big Flicks.