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Reuters takes 26% stake in Times of India's news channel venture; focus will be on urban audience

26-April-2005
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Reuters takes 26% stake in Times of India's news channel venture; focus will be on urban audience

With The Times of India Group partnering with Reuters Ltd. for its forthcoming news channel, more details around the entity has cleared. The channel's CEO Sunil Lulla explains that the move will help the new channel focus on its prime TG, the urban audience better.

Speaking more about the reasons to focus on the urban audience, Lulla said, "A large franchise of the English news segment lies in the urban space. The idea of looking at that market also is in tandem with the content that we would be able to produce with this partnership with Reuters."

However, there are channels like NDTV 24x7 that also cater to this audience. How does Times aim at rope in this segment? "There is a large untapped potential that lies in that space. Plus both Times and Reuters have proved great equity in delivering quality news and catering to the demanding urban consumer. With this partnership, we can give India news a global context and the impact of global news on India. We are leveraging same equity."

Lulla said that the channel would also have Reuters branded programming, "Reuters only provides news and information but also has great depth of knowledge-based products in the business and finance domain. Our content will capitalise on these benefits."

Reuters has agreed to acquire a 26 per cent equity stake in The Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd., the news broadcasting company of the Times of India Group which is set to launch a news channel later this year. Reuters established its first news bureau in India in 1866 and today has five bureaus in key cities across the country. Its financial information and news business employs 821 people in India.

The closely held company is investing in a portfolio of premium cable channels targeted at the urban Indian audience. The first of these, Zoom, was launched late last year and is already available in over 22m homes across India. The launch of the new channel marks the Groups' entry into news broadcasting.

About the partnership, Vineet Jain, Managing Director of the Times Group, said, "We have built our heritage and standing with generations of Indians the world over through our flagship paper. This TV channel is the natural next step in offering our news to a rapidly growing and discerning urban audience. This is a great coming together of two of the world's strongest news brands."

The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and contract. Financial advisor on the agreement are Lazard India for Reuters and JM Morgan Stanley for Times of India Group.

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