After announcing its GBN IPO, the TV18 Group has lined up some more ambitious plans for the year. As part of its growth strategy the Group plans to add at least two more channels to its offerings and sees big potential in the regional space.
Confirming this to exchange4media, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Television Eighteen India Ltd, said that the news and infotainment space would be the core focus area of the Group. “We will not look at entertainment broadcasting at all. We will stick close to our core competency,” he affirmed.
Echoing the same thought, Sameer Manchanda, Joint Managing Director, Global Broadcast News (GBN), said, “We want to maximise revenue and launch more channels in the long term.” He, however, also laid stress on growing Hindi news channel, IBN 7, and increasing its market share.
Going forward, the TV18 Group will be closely looking at tapping the regional space. Bahl, however, refrained from disclosing the regional markets that the Group wants to get into. All he said was, “There are 5-6 important regions and we want to service all of them.”
Meanwhile, the Group has ambitious plans for its Internet arm, Web 18, too. There are plans to get that listed on the bourses in the future, though that might take some time. Bahl said, “There are no imminent plans as of now. Once we reach the critical size of the business, we would unlock the value of the web property.”
The media industry of late is witnessing some frenzied action with quite a few media conglomerates entering the capital market. TV18 Group company, GBN, owners and operators of 24-hour English language news and current affairs channel, CNN-IBN, is the latest to enter the fray with an initial public offering of equity shares aggregating up to Rs 105 crore.
Of this, Rs 5 crore will be reserved for the employees. CNN-IBN will use Rs 40 crore from the IPO proceeds for the acquisition of the Hindi news channel, IBN-7. Apart from that, part of the proceeds will also be used for loan repayments and general corporate purposes.