Fictitious mail from prankster creates confusion regarding Broadcast Worldwide and Sahara TV deal

Former Star TV India chief Rathikant Basu-promoted Broadcast Worldwide and Sahara TV sign a joint venture deal to launch a Direct to Home / Direct to Operator satellite TV service in India. Sahara DTH will acquire 49 per cent stake in Broadcast Worldwide, according to a press release sent on e-mail by Basu.

This is a story which would have hit page one of any newspaper any day. Unfortunately, Basu denied it. "It is mischievous as somebody is sending out the press release under a fictitious e-mail account. I don't even know the Sahara people," he clarified.

The hullabaloo started on June 1 when the chief executives of broadcasting/media companies in India received an e-mail purportedly from Basu, through a hotmail account, inviting them for a party on the occasion of the recent launch of Tara Punjabi on June 2.

Attached with this invitation over e-mail was a press release which announced the Broadcast Worldwide and Sahara TV joint venture. The details were immaculate and in the realms of being a possibility, including Star India's Urmilla Gupta quitting to join Basu's company, the same way as she had quit Doordarshan to head the DTH division of Star India.

We reproduce here the e-mail from Basu which, he says, is fictitious. Only, the names of the recepients have been deleted to safeguard their identity.

From: Rathikant Basu []
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 9:49 AM
Subject: TARA

Rathikant Basu Cordially invites you to be part of the celebrations as Broadcast Worldwide launches TARA - The Punjabi Channel On Friday, June 2, 2000 at The Darbar Hall, Taj Palace, New Delhi, 7 pm onwards.

RSVP - Seema 98112 22578

Attached - Press Release BROADCAST WORLDWIDE

Press Release


Dated 1 June 2000, Mumbai,

Broadcast Worldwide and Sahara TV signed a Joint Venture deal today launch a Direct to Home / Direct to Operator satellite TV service in India.

According to the MOU Sahara DTH will acquire 49 per cent stake in Broadcast Worldwide.

Commenting on the deal, Mr. Rathikant Basu, Chairman and CEO of Broadcast Worldwide said, "This deal is a beginning of a long term partnership with Sahara and will provide a digital platform to several niche channels in the direct to home market".

Mr. Mahesh Prasad, CEO & Advisor, Sahara TV said, "We are impressed by the entrepreneurial skills and broadcast industry experience of Mr. Basu and look forward to an alliance with Broadcast Worldwide in the digital era."

Mrs. Urmilla Gupta, Executive Director Of Star TV DTH will be joining Sahara DTH as Executive Director and CEO from first week of July 2000. Mrs. Shukla Das, has been appointed as Director of Programming at Sahara DTH. Star TV DTH division personnel including Ms. Saloni Singh, Mr.Vishal Chowdhury, Mr.Sanjay Pathak, Ms. Riti Jarg and Mr. Jayant Shah will also be joining Sahara DTH which will be headquarted in Noida near Delhi.

SEEMA - 98112 22578

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