New Delhi: TV18 Broadcast on Wednesday raised its stake in Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd to 51% for a cash consideration of USD 20 million, thus taking operational control of the joint venture.
The brands and content licence agreement between US multinational media conglomerate Viacom Inc and Viacom18 was also extended by 10 years.
The JV 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.
Viacom continues to hold 49 percent in Viacom18, and shares TV18's vision for scalability and enhanced efficiency at Viacom18.
Commenting on the development, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, Network18, 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 & telecom value-chain."
"Viacom 18 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 India's fastest growing mobile network, Jio. Viacom remains strongly committed to our Viacom 18 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 Viacom 18 and see clear potential to expand it in live events and recreation, in line with our growing global presence in these lines of business," said David Lynn, CEO, Viacom International Media Networks.
Asserting that the journey in the past 10 years has been 'exciting', Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO Viacom18, said: "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."
Viacom18 has 44 television channels across 80 countries in 6 different languages, beside five lines of business, spreading across broadcast, digital, films, merchandise and live events. Viacom18 has reported total revenues of Rs 30,407 million in FY17.
(Disclaimer: News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited).