Television

×

×

NDTV, Astro snap up Red FM ops

MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI: After nurturing it since the birth of private radio broadcasting in the country in 2001, Aroon Purie’s Living Media Group, owners of India Today magazine and TV Today Network, has exited a radio venture lock, stock and every song in the library.

A clutch of investors, including infotech company Value Labs, Malaysian broadcaster Astro and premier Indian news organization NDTV, have joined hands to buy out the operations of Radio Today, the radio division of Living Media Group, for an undisclosed amount.

The government clearance to the deal, ahead of the start of financial bidding process for second round of FM radio later this month, came in yesterday. The actual agreement was formalised on Monday morning.

In the loose structure that is there at present, the Hyderabad-based Value Labs is the majority shareholder, while both NDTV and Astro hold minority stakes. Astro, being a foreign company, cannot hold more than 20 per cent stake in a FM radio venture as per government norms.

Though the companies involved were mum on the valuation of the radio company, sources close to the deal-making told Indiantelevision.com that the Radio Today --- which runs stations under the brand name Red FM in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata --- deal was “more reasonable” than the BBC-Radio Mid-Day agreement.

“Even the buyers were a little surprised by the final price agreed for Radio Today,” a source said, hinting that the valuation agreed upon of Radio Today was lesser than that of Radio Midday

According to market indicators, Radio Mid-day was valued at between Rs 1.6 to Rs 1.8 billion. The company operates one FM station in Mumbai, compared to Radio Today’s presence in three cities.

In a statement issued in the afternoon today by the buyers, it was stated, “Associate companies of Value Labs and Astro, through their existing Indian joint ventures, have come together with NDTV News (subsidiary of NDTV) to acquire Radio Today (Mumbai) Broadcasting Limited, Radio Today (Delhi) Broadcasting Limited and Radio Today (Calcutta) Broadcasting Limited from the Living Media Group.”

The statement quoted Value Labs founder promoter and CEO Arjun Rao as saying, “We’re very excited with the opportunity to expand into the radio sector in India and hope to build upon our global experience in the multimedia space. The possibilities that exist in relation to creating an interactive eco-system across radio, television, Internet and mobile (phones) is something we're looking forward to."

Value Labs is a Hyderabad based global IT service provider, with extensive experience in telecom and multimedia application development.

NDTV Ltd director Narayan Rao added that they expect a lot of “cross media synergies by entering the (radio) space.”

NDTV and Astro relationship is not new. Last year, the Indian news broadcaster entered into a joint venture deal with Astro All Asia Network. Under the agreement, NDTV will hold up to 20 per cent in the joint venture with Astro Broadcast Corp LTD, a wholly owned company of Astro All Asia Network, to set up and broadcast 24-hour channels in South East Asia.

And, Astro’s interest in the Indian market is nothing new either. Astro CEO Ralph Marshall has been quoted by the Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia publication Media Routes in 2004 as saying that the company would expand regionally with pay TV investments in Indonesia and radio ventures in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the mid-1990s, Astro/Measat had a pact with Doordarshan for a DTH service that never got off the block. At present, the Astro group provides marketing and back up support to two FM radio stations in Kolkata.

Also Read

Radio Today likely to sign deal with Measat

Government announces 1st list of FM Radio probables 

Govt clears revenue share in FM radio; FDI of 20% okayed

BBC Worldwide to invest Rs 318 million in Radio Mid Day; stake not finalised 

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/23/zeecafe.jpg?itok=uuwYA56W
Witness the challenges of the battlefield across treacherous terrains with the BBC First drama ‘Our Girl’ on Zee Café

MUMBAI: As a female medic in the British Army, Georgie Lane’s life is full of battles – both physical and personal. Our Girl, follows the fearless adventures of the tightknit unit of soldiers in ‘2-Section’ as they fight for survival on the most dangerous missions of their lives. Watch Our Girl...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/23/dangal-tv.jpg?itok=CVPM7YNY
BARC week 37: Dangal retakes top spot in yo-yo struggle across genres

Enterr10 Television network’s Hindi GEC was the most watched channel Across Genres on All Platforms as well on the Free Platform in week 37 of 2019 (Saturday, 7 September 2019 to Friday, 13 September 2019, week or period under review).

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/21/Zee%20Kannada.jpg?itok=XUlTLr0x
Zee Kannada’s 'Jote Joteyali' garners 171% growth in primetime slot

MUMBAI: Zee Kannada’s recently launched show Jote Joteyali garnered 171 per cent of total growth in the primetime slot, according to the channel. The show was launched on 9 September, has topped the chart in Kannada television industry in fiction genre. The show is telecasted every Monday to Friday...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/ss.jpg?itok=o6tHW5k2
Star Sports launches MISSION 2020 with the Men in Blue

MUMBAI: The ‘Men in Blue’ have embarked on their quest to bring the ICC T20 World Cup Trophy home next year, beginning with the home season of cricket on Star Sports with South Africa tour of India that started on September 15th. Mission 2020 will showcase all India matches as they prepare for the...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/zee.jpg?itok=KNZ8xLWb
Zee Kannada’s Jote Joteyali launch breaks all records in the Kannada Television Industry

MUMBAI: The No. 1 Kannada General Entertainment Channel, Zee Kannada’s recently launched Jote Joteyali tops the charts in the Kannada television industry in the fiction genre. This eccentric love story garnered a total of 171% of growth in the prime slot of 8:30 PM, Monday to Friday. The record...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/cnn.jpg?itok=O8cbHiBg
CNN International to launch new programming

MUMBAI: CNN International, which reaches more than 400 million households around the world, is launching new programming from September 24, 2019. Broadcasting live at 2.30am IST, The Brief with Bianca Nobilo will provide viewers with an incisive look at the most significant live events and stories...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/fyi.jpg?itok=uGaTFks2
FYI TV18 presents a modern dating show with a twist

MUMBAI: FYI TV18 is all set to burn up the dance-floor in its latest premiere, ‘Flirty Dancing’. Britain’s best-loved choreographer Ashley Banjo, who won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with his über-cool street-dancing moves, has now moved on to play cupid between strangers looking for love. With...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/nitin.jpg?itok=zg6LOcZF
Nitin Bawankule to join as Star India head of ad sales from 1 October

MUMBAI: Star India, today announced the appointment of Nitin Bawankule as the head of ad sales. In this role, Bawankule will be responsible for leading ad sales across both linear broadcast and OTT for Star TV network and Hotstar respectively. This appointment is effective 1 October 2019 and will...

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/09/20/kidz.jpg?itok=M_O_RsT1
Discovery Kids to launch animated series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on 12 October

MUMBAI: Discovery Kids is all set to up the ante with the introduction of fun filled animated series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ based on superhit Bollywood franchise ‘Fukrey’ and ‘Fukrey Returns’. The channel will start broadcasting the series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on October 12th, 2019 onwards at 1.30 PM and 7.30...

Television TV Channels Kids

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories