MTV denies that investors are disgruntled

MTV India chief Alex Kuruvilla has dismissed the report in Business Standard, which stated that non-resident Indians disgruntled with the channel's performance in India had pulled out of the Mauritius-based overseas corporate body which is the holding company for the channel in India.

"The report seems biased," he says. "While it is true that MTV India has become a 100% foreign-owned venture, it is not because people were fazed by losses. It is because the environment has changed and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board cleared our proposal for a 100 per cent venture. So it is more of a strategic move by us. When we set up initially, it was necessary to go through the NRI/OCB route."

Kuruvilla adds that MTV India is among the stars in the MTV Worldwide stable. "There are four services which are considered amongst the most powerful brands in MTV and MTV India is one of them." Kuruvilla points out that the Indian operations have got a leg up and the channel has got more ad commercial minutes than the other music services. "We are more than happy with our performance. Our rates too have been going up. But on the whole we know that there is a gestation period to get this service going."

The Business Standard Story had additionally stated that MTV India will convert the existing shareholding of MTV Asia Ventures in MTV India from 'NRI OCB with 24 per cent repatriable' to fully repatriable foreign direct investment. It had additionally stated that the equity capital of the company is being expanded from Rs 60 million to Rs 100 million through the issue of further equity/preference capital of MTV Asia Ventures and/or its parent, subsidiaries and nominees. The preference capital shall be cumulative and non-convertible and have a maximum redemption period of 20 years. The rate of dividend will range between 0 to 15 per cent.

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