Anil Ambani group to launch 20 TV channels

March 21st, 2008 - 11:29 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 21 (IANS) The Reliance Dhirubhai Ambani Group is set to launch 20 TV channels in the country as part of its plans to expand the reach in the fast-growing broadcast entertainment business, top company officials said. The group, which has Reliance Entertainment as a subsidiary, is foraying into the broadcast business through two companies Reliance Big TV Entertainment and Reliance Big TV News, the officials added.

“We are at the planning stage. So we are not revealing the details of the media project right now. At the appropriate time - very shortly perhaps - we will make a formal announcement,” a spokesperson for the group told IANS.

“The first of these channels will go on air probably in July-August this year. We have already applied for approval of these channels from the information and broadcasting ministry,” the spokesperson added.

Two separate companies are being floated since the government imposes restrictions on foreign direct investment in the news media sector and the group is proposing two general news and two business news channels in Hindi and English.

The group wants to remain open to the idea of roping in an international player in the entertainment TV segment, officials explained.

Although the other 16 channels have not yet been finalised, the idea is for two TV channels catering to Hindi entertainment and regional movies. Besides, plans also include channels for children and on lifestyle and leisure.

The Rs.130-billion Reliance Entertainment Ltd has interests in the production, distribution and exhibition of films, besides foraying into FM radio, Internet and television content.

The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, through its subsidiaries, also has equity stakes in a number of media and entertainment companies. The group also markets music and movies under the labels of Big Music and Big Flicks.

In 2005, the group had also acquired Adlabs Films, which is among the largest entertainment companies in India with interests in film processing, production, exhibition and digital cinema. Through it, the company has forayed into FM radio under the Big 927 FM banner and has licences for 45 stations.

It already runs 12 stations across the country with more planned in the ensuing months.

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