TV 18 breaks off ad sales deal with Sony for CNBC India

Is it the precursor to a parting of the ways? Maybe, maybe not. Raghav Bahl's Television Eighteen India Ltd declared today that henceforth it would be managing the sales of advertisement time (free commercial time) of CNBC India business news channel. 

Ad sales has been managed from the beginning of the channel's launch in India by Sony Entertainment Television (SET). TV 18 has set up the initial marketing infrastructure, which is being further strengthened for handling ad sales, the company has said. 

Queried about the fate of the distribution alliance that TV 18 has with SET for CNBC India, chief executive Haresh Chawla said he could only confirm that the arrangement would continue in its present form till March 2003. After that everything was open, Chawla admitted. 

The announcement was tied into TV 18's finally closing the chapter on an on again off again courting that has gone on for over two years. The company declared today that it had has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it planned to retain its 49 per cent equity stake in CNBC India and would not be divesting any equity in CNBC India in favour of SET. 

TV 18 holds 49 per cent in CNBC India through Television Eighteen Mauritius Ltd. The remaining 51 per cent is held by CNBC Asia. Earlier the board of directors of the company had decided to give up 20 per cent stake out of the 49 per cent in favour of SET Satellite (Singapore) Pvt Ltd. Market sources had pegged the value of the deal at Rs 200 million. 


At the meeting of the board of directors of TV 18 held today, it was decided that: 

1. Allotment of 7,00,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each issued at a premium of Rs 78 per share aggregating to Rs 88 per share as preferential allotment pursuant to the approval of the board meeting dated 7 December, 2001 and the EGM dated 2 January, 2002. 

2. Issue of secured partly convertible debentures (SPCD) of Rs 150 each, to be issued to the existing shareholders on rights basis in the ratio of one SPCD for every 13 equity shares held. The detailed terms and conditions will be worked out in consultation with the lead managers to the rights issue. 

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