Turner International has given up its Hindi general entertainment
business in India, shuttering Imagine TV after running massive
losses and failing to crack the winning formula of serials
that provide ratings for advertisers to buy.
the fiercely competitive and cash-guzzling Hindi GEC space,
Imagine TV was consistently on the bottom of the ratings ladder.
After Turner's acquisition of Imagine TV in December 2009
from NDTV, the fortunes of the channel did not change. For
the week ended 7 April, it clocked 64 GRPs to stay one bench
ahead of the last player Sahara TV.
Broadcasting System Asia Pacific said Thursday it is shutting
down Imagine TV as its performance stayed poor and it found
it unviable to continue with the operations.
said Turner has offered a three-month severance package to
its 150-strong employees.
Wednesday evening, an internal mail was circulated asking
for an all-hands-meet with Jain at 10.30 am today. In that
meeting, it was announced that Turner was pulling the plug
on Imagine TV.
International managing director- South Asia Siddharth Jain
said, "Imagine TV has not performed and grown as per
expectations. While some programmes delivered satisfactory
ratings, overall the channel was unable to achieve the ratings
consistency needed to sustain the business and support continued
investment. As a result, Turner made the carefully considered
decision to cease operations of the channel."
channel became identified with the Swayamvar series - Rakhi
(Rakhi Sawant) Ka Swayamvar, Rahul (Rahul Mahajan) Dulhania
Le Jayega and Ratan (Ratan Rajpoot) Ka Rishta. Rakhi Sawant
also did two other reality shows for the channel - Rakhi Ka
Insaaf and Ajab Desh Ki Gajab Kahaniyan.
TV was launched as NDTV Imagine in January 2008. Later, in
December 2009, Turner Asia Pacific Ventures, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting System, acquired 92 per
cent stake in NDTV Imagine for $126.5 million. Turner renamed
the channel as Imagine TV following its complete acquisition
in February 2010.
acquisition, the channel saw some big names exiting, including
CEO Sameer Nair, and recently, Harsh Rohatgi (programming
and marketing head). In between, Saurabh Tewari (fiction head)
and Nihkil Madhok (senior director - marketing and communications)
had also quit.
this is the fourth Hindi GEC closure in the last four years
- and second from Turner. Earlier, Turner had exited from
Real Global Broadcasting, a JV with the Alva Brothers, resulting
in the shutting down of Real.
other two channels which could not sustain were INX Medias
9X and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Zee Next.
India also pulled down the shutters on Star One but relaunched
it as Life OK.
operates HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network, Pogo, Warner Bros, Turner
Classic Movies and Boomerang in India.