TV18, Viacom18 form new JV

MUMBAI: TV18 and Viacom18 have formed a strategic joint venture, IndiaCast, which will distribute all channels and content of the two companies in India and abroad.

IndiaCast will also distribute Eenadu channels, post completion of acquisition by the TV18 group.

The Sun TV group channels and Disney Channels will also be distributed by IndiaCast in the Hindi Speaking Markets (HSM).

In Tamil Nadu, Sun TV Network will continue to distribute the TV18 and Viacom18 channels, apart from Disney channels.

The new company will be headed by Anuj Gandhi as Group CEO, while Gaurav Gandhi is named COO.

TV18 and Viacom18 said that IndiaCast will create India’s first multi-platform ‘Content Asset Monetization’ entity. It is mandated to drive domestic and international channel distribution, placement services and content syndication for TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks I TV18 and the Eenadu group, post completion of its acquisition by TV18.

"IndiaCast has been created with the aim to consolidate the distribution functions of both media houses to, reach newer markets and increase operational efficiencies," the two companies said.

IndiaCast will distribute all the 26 channels across all platforms, including Cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS, and will offer a range of channels, from entertainment, kids, news, infotainment and music, to regional genres.

Network18 group CEO Sai Kumar said, “The Indian distribution market is throwing up ample opportunities and we are uniquely poised to make the most of this proposed alliance in an increasingly digitized environment. We have entrusted this mandate with Anuj, who brings with him impeccable leadership and rich experience across various formats.”

He further added, "Distribution is one of the high-growth areas in this industry and we’re excited to have a presence in this part of the business as well."

Viacom International Media Networks president and CEO Bob Bakish said, “As the Indian market continues to expand and evolve, the move to bring two media houses and proposed consolidation of Eenadu channels post acquisition into one distribution sales house presents an opportunity to accelerate our growth in the region, while increasing efficiencies of operation. We’re excited about the potential of IndiaCast and are looking forward to deepening our partnership with TV18 and Eenadu Group."

Anuj Gandhi added, "This is a momentous step forward and will create a paradigm shift in distribution and syndication. The new venture gives a clear impetus to digitalization. Also, it brings more channels and greater flexibility to consumers.”

According to him, "The Company will be the focal point not only for content and media distribution but also to drive the Content asset monetization business of TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks I TV18 and Eenadu Group. The growth and way forward for media brands in the journey ahead is through Content Asset Monetization – taking content across geographies, platforms and mediums."

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