Rupert Murdoch is set to exit the television news business in India.
Star India will sell its entire 26 per cent stake in Media Content
& Communications Services (MCCS), the company that owns and
operates three news channels, as it shares a rocky relationship
with joint venture partner Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) Group.
will not look at any other Indian partner including NDTV till the
regulatory climate allows for more foreign direct investment (FDI)
into the news sector.
and ABP could split in June-July if matters are thrashed out by
then as the relationship between the two partners has turned sour.
It looks like ABP Group, which has 74 per cent holding in MCCS,
will buy out Stars stake," a source familiar with the
India CEO Uday Shankar refused to comment on the issue.
divorce will mean that the 'Star' logo will be taken out of the
Hindi, Bengali and Marathi news channels. ABP is likely to retain
the Ananda brand in Bengali while the Marathi channel may continue
with the Majha title. Star News, the flagship Hindi news channel
of the JV, will have to be entirely renamed, though the buzz is
that the Ananda brand may run common across the channels.
News was launched in March 2004, a year after MCCS was formed, followed
by Star Ananda (Bengali) in June 2005 and Star Majha (Marathi) in
first strains came to public notice when ABP Group launched a Bengali
general entertainment channel in July 2011 to compete against Star
Jalsha (launched in September 2008). The JV partners have also been
fighting over editorial and strategic issues.
had no control over the running of the organisation. It makes no
sense for them to continue with the JV. It is a matter of time but
not clear yet whether there will be a slightly longer cooling period,"
said the source.