Network18 Group and A&E Television Networks (AETN) have formed a joint venture, christened AETN-18 India, to launch History, Bio and other popular AETN channels in the Indian market. The JV between Network18 (51 per cent) and AETN (49 per cent) will be based in Mumbai.
This venture will be owned by AETN and New TV18 eventually (the broadcasting business company post the recently announced restructuring. Timelines for the launch of various channels will be announced shortly and all new business operations are subject to regulatory approval. BMR Advisors acted as transaction advisors to Network18 Group.
Headquartered in New York, AETN is a global media company whose brand portfolio includes A&E Network, History, Lifetime, Bio, Crime & Investigation Network, Military History, Lifetime Movie Network, History International, History en espanolâ, and Lifetime Real Women. Outside the US, AETN’s 44 channels and blocks reach over 250 million TV households in more than 150 countries.
Speaking on the development, Abbe Raven, President & CEO, AETN, said, “I am delighted about the launch of our new joint venture with Network18 in India. India presents us with strong growth opportunities for AETN’s global portfolio strategy. We believe that in Network18, we have found the best partner for launching AETN’s brands. We look forward to a long and successful partnership in this important market.”
Raghav Bahl, Founder & Editor, Network18, said, “We are excited to partner with AETN, one of the world’s most innovative media organisations. AETN-18 will endeavour to mirror the success that channels like History have had in the US. I believe the time is right for India to have a vibrant and dynamic factual entertainment space, led by channels like History.”
Haresh Chawla, Group CEO, Network18, added here, “We hope to be able to create a unique position in the Indian market and become the number one player in the factual entertainment space. I am confident that AETN’s programming prowess will be matched with Network18’s skill sets in brand building, distribution and monetisation. Greater addressability and growth in the pay TV market will help us capitalise on this significant, but relatively under-serviced space. AETN-18 will endeavour to redefine the factual entertainment genre in India.”