Reliance Broadcast, CBS Studios enter JV to launch channels

Reliance Broadcast, CBS Studios enter JV to launch channels

Mumbai: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Broadcast Network on Wednesday entered into an equally-owned joint venture with global media conglomerate CBS Studios to launch a series of television channels in India, a burgeoning market currently valued at around Rs26,000 crore.

The JV, Big CBS Networks, will initially launch English general entertainment channels (GECs) such as ‘Big CBS Prime’ for the upwardly mobile, ‘Spark’ catering to the youth and ‘Love’ for women audience.

“We feel the English GEC segment in India is very limited and hence there is a tremendous scope for growth in the market which is estimated to overtake the US market in terms of homes having access to satellite television," Reliance Broadcast CEO Tarun Katial told reporters here.

He did not reveal financial details of the deal.

The channels will be rolled-out phase-wise by October, he said, adding they will be available for viewers even in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan.

Besides offering brand new series of their own, the company will derive 70,000 hours from CBS’ vast programme library and tap third-party suppliers for content, he said.

The channels will be paid ones and a tieup has been finalized with DTH operator Big TV. Tieups with other operators will be announced soon, he said.

Going forward, the company plans to launch a Hindi GEC, Katial said.