Times Group-Reuters JV may launch channel by mid-August

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | April 26, 2005
Times Group and Reuters have formed a joint venture company, which will launch a general news channel in English for urban India

The newly formed joint venture company of the Times Group and Reuters may launch its English general news channel by mid-August, say informed sources.

However, when Sunil Lulla, CEO, The Times Global Broadcasting Company, was contacted by agencyfaqs!, he declined to specify the exact time of the launch, saying, "We will launch the channel in a few months. I can't confirm the exact date of the launch."

On April 25, The Times Group announced a partnership with Reuters Ltd, wherein Reuters has agreed to acquire a 26 per cent equity stake in.the news broadcasting company of the Times of India Group. The joint venture company will be a separate entity and will not be part of Bennett, Coleman and Co.

Vineet Jain, managing director, Times Group, feels that given the background of the TOI group, the TV channel is the natural next step in offering news to a rapidly growing and discerning urban audience.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and contract. The financial advisor on the agreement are Lazard India for Reuters and JM Morgan Stanley for The Times of India Group.

The deal between the two companies is not restricted to the financial transaction, the newly formed company will also leverage the editorial strength of Reuters. Lulla said, "While Reuters will give us access to global news, it will also provide us the global view on any local development."

He added that Reuters will also supply branded programming to the channel, in a deal designed to support its strategy of growing its consumer media business.

Some of the senior team members of Reuters India may also be part the the new channel's editorial team, sources said. "Some of the senior Reuters journalists have been sounded off. They may go on deputation at the upcoming news channel."

The 24-hour channel, targeted at India's growing urban audience, will operate from dual centres in Mumbai and Delhi, supported by a bureau around the country. The upcoming channel will be a pay channel as it is targeting revenues from both subscription and advertising sales. 2005 agencyfaqs!

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