While the financial details of this joint venture weren’t disclosed, TV18 informed that IndiaCast was created to consolidate the distribution functions of both the media houses, increase operational efficiencies and reach newer markets. Gaurav Gandhi, who was previously the COO at Sun 18 Media Services (North), has been appointed as the CEO for IndiaCast and Anuj Gandhi, Network18’s Group director (Distribution and New business development), has been appointed as the Group CEO of IndiaCast
IndiaCast will be responsible for domestic and International channel distribution, placement services and content syndication for TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks | TV 18 and the Eenadu group, pending the completion of its acquisition by Network18, across all platforms including Cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service).
Further, all the content assets of both the media houses will be consolidated for monetization across all platforms in India and abroad. Going forward, Indiacast also intends to consolidate the content from Eenadu group for distribution, and the joint entity will offer a range of channels across multiple genres like Entertainment, Kids, News, Infotainment, Music and regional content.
Channels included in this deal:
A total of 26 channels are included in this deal. These include:
TV18 Group – CNN-IBN, IBN7, IBN-Lokmat, CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC-TV18 Prime HD.
Viacom18 – COLORS, MTV, Nick, Sonic, Vh1, Comedy Central and COLORS HD.
A+E Networks | TV18 – History TV18
Eenadu Group – ETV, ETV 2, ETV Bangla, ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Gujarathi, ETV Oriya, ETV UP, ETV Bihar, ETV Urdu, ETV Rajasthan, and ETV MP.
In addition to this, IndiaCast will also distribute Sun Network Channels and Disney Channels in Hindi speaking markets.
TV18 – RIL Deal: In January 2012, Reliance Industries (RIL) had divested a part of its interest in ETV Channels to TV18 Broadcast Limited. TV18 and Network18 had funded this acquisition through a consolidated Rs 5400 crore rights issue, a part of which was subscribed to Network18 Promoters backed by RIL backed Independent Media Trust. In addition, Network18 group will provide preferential access to content from its media and web business to RIL’s subsidiary Infotel Broadband Services for its 4G services. Around Rs 2100 crore of the funds raised by TV18 were used for the acquisition, while the rest will be used to pay debt and for working capital requirements.