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Reuters-BCCL marriage over; Reuters scouts for a new partner, BCCL goes independent

13-February-2008
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Reuters-BCCL marriage over; Reuters scouts for a new partner, BCCL goes independent

Reuters Group Plc and Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd have decided to end their three-year long joint venture. Following this development, Reuters is selling its 26 per cent stake in the JV company Times Global Broadcasting Company Ltd (TGBCL) to BCCL, making the latter the sole owner of TGBCL.

Sources familiar with the development informed that certain on-air changes were also expected in Times Now, the English news channel from TGBCL, beginning with a change in the logo of the channel, in days to come. Confirmation on this, however, was not available at the time of filing the report.

The relation between Reuters and Times Global is not completely severed though, as executives familiar with the development informed that Times Now would continue to use the Reuters News Service for the channel’s content.

While BCCL has decided to go independent for the news broadcast business, it is reliably learnt that Reuters is in talks with other news houses for its presence in India in the news broadcast domain. One of the names touted is that of News24.

As is known, Reuters Group Plc and BCCL had entered into a JV in January 2005 to launch a news broadcasting venture in India. It may be recalled that according to media reports, Reuters had paid over $19 million (Rs 89 crore) to pick up the 25.82 per cent stake in TGBCL.

The first channel from this group was Times Now, launched in 2006. The year 2007 was a good one for Times Now as the channel significantly increased its share in the domain. TGBCL is already in the process of looking at launching an English business news channel in 2008.

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