Television

MTV eyes acquisitions; but puts SS deal on hold

MUMBAI: MTV Networks is aiming at growth through acquisitions, both in the music and the kids' space. It has, however, put its plans to acquire Chennai-based Southern Spice Music (SS Music) on hold.

"We are not pursuing talks now. But this does not necessarily mean that we will not open them up again," says MTV Networks Asia Pacific president Frank Brown.

SS Music, sources say, was asking for a valuation of $10 million and MTV has not got back after that.

Says Brown, "We plan to have at least two-three acquisitions over the next three years. This could be in the area of radio, print, production facilities and digital media. We are also interested in local language TV channels."

Acquisition, Brown adds, will be both for MTV and Nick. "It could be joint ventures, programming blocks, and not necessarily total buyouts."

MTV Networks has identified two new revenue streams, each to have a business head. Digital new media and consumer products are going to evolve as businesses with potential for fast growth, says Brown. "The boom in digital new media has happened in Japan and Korea. And it is happening in China. Along with consumer products, this will be a brand extension for MTV and Nick in India as well."

HUNT ON FOR CEO, COO

The hunt is on for a chief executive officer (CEO) and a chief operating officer (COO) even as the company is planning for growth in India. "The CEO will look at business development, new launches, acquisitions and joint ventures while the COO will be handling operations," says Brown.

The company is eyeing launch of new genre of channels even as the direct-to-home (DTH) and the industry grows. "India is one of the fastest growing markets for us. The macro indicators are in favour of us. The youth population is rising, retail is opening up, and we see immense potential for merchandising and licensing on the back of Nick and MTV. We are strategically well positioned to ride on the boom," says Brown.

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