CNBC has decided to terminate the agreement with Sony for ad sales ahead of the expiry of a three-year deal. Though a distribution deal with Sony is likely to run through till March 2003, Zee Turner is wooing CNBC to join its bouquet.
Once the break up is formalised over the next few days, Ad sales of CNBC, will be looked after by the Delhi-based Television Eighteen, a shareholder in CNBC India.
In India, Sony had been contracted two years ago to look after the ad sales and distribution of the business channel under a complex revenue sharing agreement, including a monthly minimum guarantee amount. Sony distributed and sold ad space on CNBC as a package with other Sony channels.
Any one hour’s programming on CNBC offers about eight minutes of commercial time. While four minutes is hawked by CNBC Asia outside India, the rest is tied up within India by TV-18, which, in turn, had struck an alliance with Sony for the purpose.
Despite CNBC and Sony attempting to hammer out a new deal that envisages TV-18 not diluting its stake even while giving a commitment to keep the channel within the Sony bouquet for up to seven years, the fate of the CNBC-Sony distribution deal was uncertain beyond March 2003.
According to industry sources, keeping CNBC within its stable is important for Sony, which has plans to cobble together a bouquet of satellite channels to rival that of Star Network and Zee Turner.
Recently, Sony and Discovery Networks International announced a joint venture under which Discovery and Sony channels will be distributed together in the initial stage. The channels include Discovery, Animal Planet, Sony, SET Max, AXN and CNBC India.
Source: Business Standard