European broadcast giant RTL has formerly announced its 50:50 joint venture to launch thematic channels in India with media group Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL).
The initiative will begin with the launch of two English language general entertainment channels. The first will be reality based, drawing on content produced by RTL’s FreemantleMedia, while the second channel will be brimful of action and aimed at a male audience.
“RTL Group believes strongly in the Indian market – a market with a young population which loves TV and impressive potential for further growth,” said Andreas Rudas, RTL’s executive vice president, regional operations & business development Central and Eastern Europe. “We are thrilled to have such a strong local partner as Reliance Broadcast Network for our first broadcasting venture in Asia.”
Tarun Katial, CEO, RBNL added: “This joint venture brings Europe’s leaders to India, and Reliance Broadcast Network is proud to be at the core of creating a revolution in the Indian English entertainment space.
“We are committed to offering Indian audiences unprecedented international television content, and RTL Group’s extensive library and lineage compliment the partnership perfectly,” added Mr Katial. “The synergies, values and visions that both companies share will allow this joint venture to offer value to audiences and marketers alike.”
RBNL already has a similar joint venture in India with US broadcaster CBS Studios International called BIG CBS, which is part way through launching three English language general entertainment TV channels: BIG CBS Prime, BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS Spark. RBNL also recently launched BIG Magic, a Hindi entertainment channel featuring comedy, music and Bollywood-based programming.
RTL’s production arm FreemantleMedia produces a whopping 9,500 hours of TV programming each year, including the debut season of X Factor India, currently being broadcast at prime time by Sony Entertainment Television (SET).