Turner Broadcasting System has decided to cut down investments into its Hindi general entertainment channel Imagine TV, which it had acquired from NDTV in 2010. It is understood that April 12, 2012 is the last working day for the channel and that Imagine TV would be airing re-runs beginning April 13, 2012. This also applies to its international feed Imagine Dil Se.
In the last two years, Imagine TV had seen significant changes in its leadership structure and various other attempts to bring the channel in the reckoning set of Hindi GECs in India.
“Imagine TV has not performed and grown as per expectations. While some programmes delivered satisfactory ratings, overall the channel was unable to achieve the ratings consistency needed to sustain the business and support continued investment. As a result, Turner made the carefully considered decision to cease operations of the channel. We are grateful to the Imagine team, which includes some of the most talented and creative people in the Indian media industry. We will use our best endeavours to make this as smooth a transition as possible for them,” said Siddharth Jain, MD – South Asia, Turner International India.
It is understood that Imagine has as yet not informed all its stakeholders such as television producers about this decision. The process for that is set to begin today.
Imagine TV was amongst the second generation Hindi general entertainment channels that had launched in the year 2008. A few of these including ZeeNext and Real were shut down within the first year of operation itself.
Imagine TV was launched by NDTV in partnership with NBC Universal, as part of NDTV’s diversification into non-news domain and in line with NBCU’s expansion plans in ‘emerging markets’ such as India.
Following the slowdown of 2008 and given NDTV’s and NBCU’s inability to invest further in the venture, in December 2009, Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System, had announced its decision to acquire NDTV’s stake in Imagine and make it a fully owned Turner company eventually.
Prior to NDTV, Turner’s GE aspiration was in the form of Real.