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Ambani talks about RIL's media & entertainment empire

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MUMBAI: When one of India’s richest billionaires starts talking about what most consider as a small media & entertainment business, juxtaposing it against the Rs 300,000 crore he generates out of oil and gas, it’s a statement of how much it has come to mean to him.

At the RIL AGM on 1 September chairman Mukesh Ambani outlined the scale of Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL’s) M&E business.

“We own 58 channels the highest number by an Indian company and we are aggressively investing in it along with global leaders such as Viacom, CNBC, CNN Forbes, and A+E Networks,” he said with aplomb.

11 of these channels are overseas but they are Indian and catering to the diaspora globally. Network18 contributes 21 of these in the form of news channels reaching out national and regional viewers, in 18 states and 11 languages. The entertainment and infotainment TV business it has set up in partnership with global majors such as Viacom and A+E has 26 channels.

“Our television network reaches out to more than 500 million viewers every month, that is two out of every five Indians,” he explained. “Colors is amongst the top two channels in India, while Nick and MTV are top players in their genres.”

He was pretty kicked up about the reach of online websites under the Network18 umbrella. “They attract over 27 million unique visitors every month which is the largest in India,” he exclaimed.

He also spoke about the fact that online shopping and ticketing sites such as bookmyshow have got the highest traction in the country.

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