Television

TV18, Jagran TV in joint venture deal to manage Channel7

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MUMBAI: It was 19 January that Indiantelevision.com first broke the news that Global Broadcast Network (GBN), owners of English news channel CNN-IBN, were in talks with Jagran TV, parent company of Channel7, aimed at making the Hindi news channel a part of the GBN stable through a joint venture.

The deal is done! TV18 and Jargan TV have agreed for an equal joint venture. According to industry sources close to the development, the operations of Channel7 will integrate with TV18 Group.

The sources also added that the valuation of Jagran TV is pegged at between Rs 1.2 billion and Rs 1.3 billion. One issue that still needs to be sorted out though is that of foreign holding. It is expected, however, that some solution will be reached soon.

The issue of the Channel7 brand name is still being discussed. But the sources pointed out that as of now the Hindi news channel will have the two brand names together -- IBN-Channel7. At present, the foreign holding component is being hammered out and after all the necessary clearances come through, GBN will ponder over the brand name for the channel.

The sources added that the final deal will be done through GBN.

The news was confirmed later in the day by TV18 Ltd, which issued a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) stating: "GBN has announced its intention to make a strategic investment in "Channel7", the 24-hour Hindi language general news channel, owned and operated by Jagran TV Pvt Ltd (JTL). After the investment is completed, GBN and JTL shall have an equal 'inter se' ownership interest in Channel 7. It is also intended that JTL chairman Mahendra Gupta shall continue to lead the board of the JV, while the editorial, production, distribution and other operations of Channel7 shall be integrated with all the news channels of the TV18 Group.

"This strategic investment is expected to be completed over the next 60 days, subject to a satisfactory due diligence followed by the receipt of necessary board, shareholder and regulatory approvals."

TV18 MD Raghav Bahl added: "The experience and respect that the Dainik Jagran Group commands will be an invaluable asset for this partnership. With such a powerful 4-channel bouquet of market leaders (Channel 7, CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, Awaaz), straddling the entire spectrum of general and business news in English and Hindi languages, the TV 18 Group shall become the indisputable leader among India's news broadcasters."

GBN is promoted by a clutch of professionals like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sameer Manchanda and Haresh Chawla along with Television Eighteen promoted by Raghav Bahl.

TV18 scrips opened today at Rs 500 and touched a high of Rs 518. The scrips last traded at Rs 514.50.

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