Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL) has announced its plans to acquire Imagine Showbiz, marking its entry into the Hindi broadcasting space. The network will be taking complete ownership of the channel through a buy-out of 100% purchase of shares from Cinestar Advertising. The channel will be rebranded to align with the 'Big' brand name and utilise RBNL's integrated sales arm - Big Connect.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. said, “This proposed acquisition is in line with the overall strategy to create ownership of multi-media consumer touch-points. It will further strengthen our television portfolio, from the English space into the Hindi entertainment space. This business deal seems a natural choice, given the seamless business fit, spanning across our verticals of radio, intellectual properties and digital along with the Group synergies. We are confident of building the Channel into a robust entertainment option with novel programming enhancements, while offering an exciting platform for marketers.”
Showbiz was launched in August 2008 as a JV with NDTV Group holding 51 per cent and Cinestar Advertising having the remaining 49 per cent. When NDTV sold its stake in NDTV Imagine Ltd that also has Hindi GEC Imagine TV to Turner, the channel also changed ownership. Cinestar Advertising bought the majority stake from Turner recently for complete ownership of the channel.
For the record, RBNL had recently made its foray into the Indian television industry through its JV with CBS Studios International that has resulted in the launch of three English language channels.