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India TV Sets Up Interactive Company; To What End?

It’s over a year since India TV launched their website, and began streaming their sensationalised (occasionally comical) news content online. The company has now announced the formation of India TV Interactive (ITVI) with Arvind Mahendru as SVP (New Media) of ITVI. Mahendru will report to India TV MD Ritu Dhawan, and joins from GroupM. He has worked with Bharti Airtel as GM Marketing, Indiatimes as Chief Manager (Broadband), as well as media companies like Zee Turner and Star TV.

ITVI will focus on the digital domains – Internet, Mobile and probably other platforms like IPTV. Over the past couple of years – with an eye on valuations and possibly an IPO, several Indian media companies have established separate digital subsidiaries:

HT Media – Firefly e-Ventures
India Today and TV Today Ltd – India Today Digital (Digital Today)
UTV – UTV Interactive and UTV New Media
NDTV Ltd – NDTV Convergence
Network18 Group – Web18
BAG Films & Media Ltd – BAG Convergence

The problem is that many of these digital companies haven’t yet turned a profit, and with a global recession in sight, a $1 Billion IPO on NASDAQ (you know whom I’m talking about) is certainly not on the cards any more. So, from India TVs perspective – too little too late?

India TV had raised $11.5 Million from Fuse+ Media (part of Velocity Interactive Groupfor a 19.17% stake), and another Rs. 20 Crores from Shyam Equities earlier this year.

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