Reliance Broadcast Network Limited, part of Reliance ADAG, and CBS Studios International, a division of CBS have formed a 50:50 joint venture as a limited liability company – BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd. BIG CBS will create three new English TV channels, which will be premiered in the fourth quarter of the 2010 calendar year, offering users new and current CBS programs:
– BIG CBS Prime, a premium English general entertainment channel
– BIG CBS Spark, an English youth channel
– BIG CBS Love, an English entertainment channel focused on women
Two years ago Mint had reported Reliance ADAG’s plans to launch 20 channels.
To audiences across the Indian subcontinent covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan, across digital and analog platforms. Remember that Reliance ADAG also has a distribution vehicles in BIG TV, their DTH venture, and the recently acquired Reliance Digicable. They haven’t yet launched their IPTV business, though.
On offer will be shows like Hawaii Five-0,The Defenders, Blue Bloods, NCIS, Survivor, CSI, 90210, America’s Next Top Model and Entertainment Tonight, as well as library content (of which CBS has 70,000), like Melrose Place, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Charmed, to name a few. Some of this content is already being shown on channels in India. The venture will also acquire content from third party suppliers and will consider producing original English language programming for the channels, in the future.
The JV may later explore launching Hindi and Regional language channels as well. Remember that Reliance ADAG also has TV production through BIG SYNERGY and BIG Productions, and filmed content through BIG Pictures, apart from international partnerships with DreamWorks.