Television

TV18 to increase Viacom18 stake to 51%

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MUMBAI: TV18 will take operational control of Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd (Viacom18), the joint venture partners in Viacom18, TV18 Broadcast and Viacom Inc, announced today. TV18 will raise its stake to 51 per cent by acquiring 1 per cent of Viacom18’s equity from Viacom Inc for a cash consideration of Rs 127 crore (USD 20 million). The brands and content licence agreement between Viacom Inc and Viacom18 will also get extended by 10 years.

The partners believe that in the fast-evolving media and entertainment landscape in India, TV18 can drive value-addition and synergies across the multi-platform group comprising broadcast, digital, filmed and experiential entertainment and media businesses, the official release stated. Viacom continues to hold 49 per cent in Viacom18 and shares TV18’s vision for scalability and enhanced efficiency at Viacom18.

Network18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said, “The transaction further enables our vision for Viacom18 to accentuate its focus on excellence and integration in the broadcast and digital space. The entertainment powerhouse continues to be bolstered by Viacom’s global expertise in content creation and curation, along with Network18 group and affiliates’ strength across the media and telecom value chain.”

“Viacom18 is one of the fastest growing companies in India’s dynamic media and technology sector and, as a result of this transaction, we believe it will be even better positioned for accelerated growth through closer integration and alignment with the Network 18 Group and its affiliates, including Jio,” Viacom International Media Networks CEO David Lynn said. “Viacom remains strongly committed to our Viacom18 joint venture with the Network 18 Group and we are retaining the vast majority of our ownership stake in the company. We’re delighted to extend our licencing deal with Viacom18 and see clear potential to expand it in live events and recreation, in line with our growing global presence in these lines of business.”

“We turned 10 last year and our growth journey has been exciting to say the least. None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of both our partners. This development will allow us to leverage deeper synergies with Jio as we enter our next growth phase. As India’s youngest full-play media organisation, we remain committed to winning the hearts of our audiences across all our on-air, on-line, in-store, in-theatre and on-ground businesses and enriching the digital life of every Indian,” added Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats.

Viacom18 started out as a broadcast business with three channels–MTV, Nickelodeon and Vh1–in 2007. Today, the broadcaster has 44 television channels across 80 countries in six languages. It has also diversified into five lines of business, spawning broadcast, digital, films, merchandise and live events. The company reported total revenue of Rs 3,040 crore in 2016-17, charting 40-fold growth in topline since inception.

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