Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) company Reliance Broadcast Network has inked a preliminary, non-binding Term Sheet, and entered into negotiation and due diligence process with CBS Studios International for forming a broadcast joint venture which will operate general entertainment channels across South Asia. It is proposed that both parties will own 50% equity in the joint venture, and that the negotiations would be completed within a month. The BIGer Picture It's important to remember here that India allows 100% foreign direct investment in non-news television businesses, which is why the focus is on launching General Entertainment Channels. Apart from this Anil Ambani group's financial services company Reliance Capital recently picked up 18% in business news channel Bloomberg UTV, pending approvals. Last year, they had launched a television production house Big Productions, and have also acquired production house BIG Synergy, headed by well known quiz master Siddhartha Basu. They also own Animation Studio BIG Animation and Film Production studio BIG ND Studio and Film Production House BIG Pictures. The group also owns DTH platform BIG TV, so carriage might not be too big a concern. Thus, ADAG has companies in all major segments of the value chain - production, broadcasting and distribution. Of course, there have been reports in the past about obscenely big plans for 20 channels, around two years ago. Plans The Joint Venture formed will seek to launch launch English language general entertainment channels initially, and then expand to Hindi language and regional language general entertainment channels, and initially hold programming rights across…
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