BIG CBS Networks joint venture between CBS Corp and Reliance

Sunday, August 22, 2010, 19:43 by Business Editor

CBS joins hands with Reliance to tap Indian TV market

US television network giant CBS Corporation is all set to enter the Indian market. Announcing an equally owned joint venture with Reliance Broadcast network, CBS is looking forward to tapping the emerging Indian market, said officials at the company.

The joint venture, called BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd., will start operations by offering three channels in India, the content of which will be English language programs that belong to CBS. These will be offered by the end of this year, say sources. This deal has been anticipated for some time now, and although financial details were not revealed, it is clear that American networks are keen to get a foothold into the burgeoning Indian television arena.

Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL, belongs to Anil Ambani. The group has investments in other entertainment wings such as radio stations, digital advertising and outdoor advertising. This is the company’s first television venture.

Details of the three channels were released – one will be BIG CBS Prime, which is a general entertainment channel; secondly the BIG CBS Spark, which will be targeting the young people; and BIG CBS Love, which is to be a women’s channel. This will be India’s first women’s’ channel providing entertainment content in English.

New and old CBS syndicated American shows like ‘Hawaii Five-0’, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and ‘Entertainment Tonight’ would be shown on the channels said sources. They venture also remarked that they were exploring possibilities whereby they could launch regional language entertainment content while engaging in other joint projects as well.

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