IndiaCast and UGBL, a Disney UTV group company, have announced a strategic joint venture for their aggregation and wholesale distribution business for TV channels. IndiaCast is the multi-platform, global distribution company of TV18 and Viacom18.
IndiaCast will have a 74 per cent stake in the JV, while Disney UTV will have a 26 per cent stake. The joint venture will become operational post the necessary regulatory approvals and will provide 35 channels from the TV18, Viacom18, Disney UTV & A+E Networks | TV18 to cable, DTH and HITS platforms in India. Anuj Gandhi will be the Chief Executive Officer of the new entity.
Talking about the joint venture, Gandhi said, “This partnership will build a strong distribution company that will offer a broader and more diversified range to platforms giving us a foothold across genres, including in general entertainment, general and business news, movies, youth and kids genres. We have had a great first year for IndiaCast and this JV will give our domestic distribution business scale and wider reach.”
“There are some clear and unique synergies in this partnership. The new bouquet is a more comprehensive offering from the viewer’s perspective that gives the combined entity an edge in the marketplace,” said MK Anand, Managing Director – Media Networks, Disney UTV.
IndiaCast will move its domestic distribution business into this new venture, while continuing to manage its other content monetisation businesses, which include the international distribution, ad sales and content sales business as well as the new media distribution for TV18, Viacom 18, A+E Networks | TV18 and Eenadu channels.
Disney UTV will also move its domestic distribution activities for its bouquet of all nine channels to the new entity.
Commenting on the transaction, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18 said, “The Indian television industry in on the throes of a transformation on the back of digitisation. The distribution joint venture with Disney UTV is a landmark deal and will help in shaping the future course of the domestic distribution landscape.”
IndiaCast is a multi-platform content asset monetisation entity, jointly owned by TV18 and Viacom18. IndiaCast drives domestic distribution, placement services, international channel distribution and ad sales, new media (digital) distribution and content syndication for TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks | TV18 and ETV channels. The entity also distributes Sun Network channels and Disney channels in the Hindi speaking markets across India.
This apart, IndiaCast has joined hands with mobile TV service nexGTv for live streaming of 20 channels, which include Colors, MTV, CNBC-TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz, IBN Lokmat, CNN-IBN, History TV18, ETV Gujarati, ETV Marathi, ETV Bangla, ETV Kannada, ETV Oriya, ETV UP, ETV MP, ETV Rajasthan, ETV Urdu, ETV Bihar, ETV and ETV2.