Reliance Broadcast Network and CBS Studios International have tied up to form an equally owned joint venture, which will see the creation of three new television channels allowing for programming rights in India.
The new joint venture company is called BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd. The channels that will be launched as a part of this JV will be English entertainment channels, customised for Indian viewers. The launch for these channels is expected to be during the fourth quarter of 2010. The channels are set to telecast popular television programs from around the world like "Hawaii Five-0,” “The Defenders” and “Blue Bloods”, “NCIS,” “Survivor,” “CSI,” “90210,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Entertainment Tonight.” They will also draw from 70,000 hours of content from CBS's program library, including the original “Melrose Place,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Frasier,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and “Charmed,”.
The three new English Channels will be made available across a network of digital and analog distribution platforms. Along with India, these channels will also go across Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan. The channels will be called BIG CBS Prime (a premium English general entertainment channel) , BIG CBS Spark, (a youth English channel) and BIG CBS Love (womens English entertainment channel).
Commenting on the JV, Tarun Katial, chief executive officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. said, “We are proud to announce our joint venture with CBS, America’s leading television broadcaster. This is truly a landmark moment not just for us but the entire Reliance ADA Group, with our first step into the television broadcasting space. We see great opportunity in the Indian
television industry which projects high growth rate, and we are confident that our deep understanding of the Indian consumer’s entertainment requirement and advertiser needs, coupled with CBS’ reputation for creating superior content, will offer unmatched and pioneering entertainment to audiences in India and across the Indian subcontinent.”
Armando Nunez, president, CBS Studios International, added, "Reliance is an international media and entertainment powerhouse and the perfect partner for CBS to expand further into India. The vast programming, production and media resources of our two companies position us extremely well to serve audience, advertisers and all constituents of these new channels. This is an exciting alliance with potential for amazing synergies and new opportunities for our companies in one of the world’s most
dynamic business and media markets.”
While BIG CBS will initially focus on the English language general entertainment channels, a company statement says the joint venture "may also explore the option of launching Hindi Language and Regional Language general entertainment channels along with other possible projects in the future."
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