Sony backs out of Channel V; News Corp picks up more stake

The media baron Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has picked up an additional 15 per cent stake in the Indian youth music channel Channel V. Sony Picture Entertainment's (SPE) failure to pump in additional cash into the channel which was seeking another round of funding resulted in News Corp acquiring SPE's 15 per cent stake in the channel. This has resulted in the media giant's stake rising to 77 per cent.

Initially, Channel V promoters were News Corp, Sony Picture Entertainment, Warner Music Group, BMG and EMI Music. The new equity composition is as follows:

News Corp: 77 per cent
EMI Music: 15 per cent
Warner Music Group: 4 per cent
BMG: 4 per cent

Channel V's board made the cash call barely eighteen months after its previous round of funding. The channel has reportedly posted lossed over $100 million ever since its launch. It has been consistently reporting losses and is under severe cash crunch. This situation has forced SPE to withdraw its stake thus exiting from the company.

According to a local newspaper, Suresh Bala, the General Manager Channel V said that the new equity composition would not affect the working of the channel and it would still remain autonomous.

The channel had lined up ambitious plans for the near future. The channel management is hoping that the new plans would ensure a turnaround for the channel.

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