Television

CNN-IBN to split; Turner explores opportunity for new partner

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MUMBAI: Turner Broadcasting System owned American giant CNN’s tie up with Reliance Industries’ TV18 will cease to exist, come January 2016.

Amidst speculations of various possible team ups CNN International chief commercial officer Rani Raad informs Indiantelevision.com, “The partnership ran the natural course of its agreement and a mutual decision was made to chart our own respective growth independently. We are very proud of what we have co-created with TV18 for the Indian market.”

In an official media statement Network18 Group CEO A.P. Parigi said, “The last decade has seen a lot of momentum in the Indian media industry and has been particularly exciting for us. During this time we witnessed two media houses coming together to redefine the way news is presented to a demanding audience; we at TV18 have benefited from this relationship with CNN. At the launch of the channel, TV18 was a relatively small organisation; that has changed now.  Network18 has grown from two news channels in 2005 to 17 news channels in 2015. Today, we have the largest footprint in the current affairs, regional and business news space in India.  The TV18 line-up of channels today are well established and highly regarded in this dynamic, complex and challenging environment.”

The venture is yet to come to a consensus and is currently exploring all the options. “CNN remains deeply committed to long-term participation in India, one of the world’s largest and most vibrant media markets. As is the natural course of business, we continue to explore opportunities in India and every other important market around the world. Our #1 international news brand in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world, and the winner of multiple prestigious awards, CNN International, continues to lead and serve consumers in India with the best of global news content across multi-platforms,” informs Raad. 

With media reports suggesting a possible tie-up between CNN and Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL), a source close to the development says, “Yes, CNN is in talks with ZMCL. But, it will be premature to say that the deal has been locked, as CNN is speaking to other players in the market as well.”

The partnership started in 2005 with CNN Turner International signing a deal with TV18 group company Global Broadcast News (GBN), which was then headed by journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. This marked the launch of CNN-IBN. Last year, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries took total ownership of Network 18 Media which was founded by Raghav Bhal in 1993.

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