Kartikeya Sharma, MD, ITV network has inked a deal with Cent Percent to buy a majority stake in the company. Cent Percent Media Solutions, funded by private equity investor, is an outsourcing advertising sales organisation with its core focus on regional and niche TV brands.
Cent Percent Media Solutions is the first entrepreneurial initiative by Co-Founders Barun Das and Amit Tripathi.
Sharma recently acquired News X, a 24-hour English news channel, which he plans to re-launch soon. ITV Network includes six more channels.
Commenting on this acquisition, Sharma said, “Barun and his team have a tremendous track record in managing news television business in the highly competitive genre. Barun and Amit have consistently demonstrated their competence and entrepreneurial mindset. Also, given the proliferation of niche and regional channels that I foresee, riding digitisation of cable distribution, Cent Percent is an extremely exciting proposition.”
Das said, “Kartikeya has a great vision for his media business. The fact that he found value in what we have set out to do augments my confidence many folds. Regionalisation and digitisation are the primary growth drivers of TV media, where so far the profitability has been the prerogative of only a select few. With capacity growing exponentially due to digitisation, Indian TV industry is poised for the next big leap. In a country of 1.24 billion people with 22 official languages, niche and regional language channels would realise their true potential now. I expect more 200 new channels, mostly regional and niche, to be launched in next three – five years. Cent Percent would be a one-stop shop to meet the advertising revenue challenges of all niche and regional channels who may not find it viable to build a strong national sales team.”
Tripathi added, “We would have a strong national team with about 70 leading sales professional. Within the first fortnight of its operations, Cent Percent has signed up with seven high potential regional news channels. We are confident that before the new financial year, we would be setting up a bouquet of 10 regional news channels.”
“We now have the largest number of news channels for any network in the HSM markets. Our thrust is on content and marketing strategy, which has already started showing results,” said RK Arora, CEO, ITV Network.