Speculation has been rife for sometime now regarding Global Broadcast News (the TV18 venture with Rajdeep Sardesai and Sameer Manchanda) and Channel 7 being in the process of forming a joint venture. Both entities, however, have officially stated that they are in talks only to explore a possible strategic alliance that does not include equity discussion of any kind.
A joint statement issued by GBN and TV18 stated: “This is with reference to press reports regarding talks of an equal joint venture for Channel 7 between GBN and the Jagran Group, with specific managerial and editorial responsibilities carved out between the two parties. It is herewith clarified that these reports are not true.”
On being contacted, Channel 7’s Siddhartha Gupta categorically stated that even as various aspects were being explored by the two groups to leverage their resources in the Hindi news genre in terms of best practices, network strengths, etc, the talks did not include sale or acquisition of equity.
When contacted, TV18, CEO, Haresh Chawla, seconded this with equal assertiveness.
The joint statement further said: “As part of general talks on exploring commercial synergies between two news channel operations, both companies have had a broad discussion; there have, however, been no discussions on any equity deal, management and editorial policies, or other parameters purported to have been finalised, as per the news reports. And all such reports in the media are purely speculative.”