CBS and Reliance Broadcast Network part ways

Rebecca Hawkes | 16-01-2014

Big CBS Networks, the Indian joint venture between CBS Studio International and Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL), has been dissolved.

Reasons for the split, after three years, have not been disclosed.

Three channels, Big CBS Prime, Big CBS Love, and youth channel Big CBS Spark were launched by the 50:50 joint venture, featuring CBS series such as Hawaii Five-0, The Defenders, Blue Bloods, NCIS, Survivor, CSI, 90210, America's Next Top Model, Entertainment Tonight, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Sex and the City.

General entertainment channel Big CBS Prime was available in dual feeds of English and Hindi, while the female-oriented Big CBS Love targeted at urban English-speaking audiences. All of the channels have been taken off air.

"We're proud of the channels that Big CBS presented to viewers in India, and we leave the venture with great respect for our terrific partners at Reliance," CBS Studios International said in a statement.

"We will continue to license CBS programming throughout the region. International demand for CBS content remains strong, as evidenced by the multi-series licensing deal we just announced with AXN India."

RBNL, meanwhile, has been growing its regional channels business through its flagship Hindi entertainment network Big Magic, which has also been launched for diaspora audiences in the US and Canada.

RBNL has also established a 50:50 joint venture with Europe's RTL Group, which operates the action channel, Big RTL Thrill, which targets male audiences through dual English and Hindi feeds.