MUMBAI: NDTV Group is setting up a company
in the UK as part of its plans to launch a Hindi entertainment channel, sources
close to the company say.
The company, NDTV Networks
Plc, UK, is expected to own a stake in the Indian company that will launch the
channel. It is not yet clear whether NDTV Networks will wholly own the Indian
company or a part of the stake.NDTV Networks has already
made an application to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for approval,
stating that the company's activities would include "non news and current
affairs channels." More details are not available.
NDTV Ltd. had
earlier announced it would form NDTV Ventures to start a slew of TV channels,
including a Hindi general entertainment channel. The non-news forays would be
undertaken by NDTV Ventures and will have under it the entertainment and new media
divisions, the company had said.
NDTV Group will be raising money to support
its entertainment channel, market sources say. The UK-based company will play
a big role in lining up investments for NDTV's expansion plans in the area of
non news channels, they add. How this will be structured, though, remains unclear
at this stage.
When contacted, NDTV Ltd. director Narayan Rao declined
to comment on the issue. "We will make an announcement of our plans soon,"
he said. NDTV's chief executive for growth and strategy Vikram Chandra also refused
to talk on the subject.
NDTV has roped in filmmaker Karan Johar
for the Hindi general entertainment channel. His production house, Dharma Productions,
will hold a small equity stake in the channel.