Television

NDTV rubbishes media report questioning ownership

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MUMBAI: News broadcaster New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has not just been breaking news lately but has also been making headlines. The company has been asked to answer questions by the stock exchange regarding an article published by Moneylife on 9 June, 2015.

The said article titled "Who Really Owns NDTV" has put the spotlight on the company with the matter even trending on Twitter after the news came out. So much so that it also caught the attention of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which sought clarification from the publicly listed company on the same.

According to the report by Moneylife, a Mukesh Ambani group entity had taken control of NDTV on the pretext of a loan agreement, way back in 2009.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, NDTV executive vice chairperson KVL Narayan Rao refuted all allegations saying, “The promoters, i.e. Dr. Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and RRPR Private Limited (“RRPR”), continue to hold the majority shareholding of NDTV, which amounts to 61.45 per cent of the total shareholding of NDTV. There has been no change in the above shareholding since August 2008. Further, Dr. Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy continue to hold the entire shareholding of RRPR since its incorporation.”

Rao also added that there has been no change in the exercise of voting rights by the promoters with respect to their shareholding in NDTV. According to the records of NDTV, the voting rights in connection with the shares have throughout been exercised by the promoters in the case of Dr. Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and RRPR.

“Therefore, NDTV would like to clarify that the allegations raised in the article with respect to a change in the control/ ownership of NDTV are entirely without any merit. NDTV is mindful of its obligations under Clause 36 of the Listing Agreement,” he said.

It may be recalled that just last year Ambani’s Reliance Industries bought over Raghav Bahl’s Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, which has under its belt TV news channels namely CNBC TV18, CNN-IBN and CNN Awaz amongst a host of other businesses. NDTV, on the other hand, competes with Network 18 with its own bouquet of news channels namely NDTV 24x7, NDTV India and NDTV Profit.

A source from the channel further said, "If NDTV has to take any loan, we have to inform the BSE. We do not give importance to every news piece."

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