Viacom acquires 50% stake in India's Prism TV



| 03 August 2015

Global content giant Viacom has spread its corporate wings further with the acquisition of a 50% interest in Indian regional broadcaster Prism TV in a deal valued at $153 million.

Prism TV owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India, including ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were recently rebranded under the Colors umbrella. The deal gives Viacom a significant presence in the fast-growing regional TV sector in India, where almost 60% of the population of more than 1.2 billion people speak regional dialects as their first language. Collectively, regional TV stations account for the second largest share of viewing in the Indian market, behind only Hindi general entertainment channels.

The remaining 50% interest in Prism will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group, Viacom's partner in the Viacom18 joint venture. Viacom18 claims to be the fastest growing entertainment network in India, operating ten channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Colors, a leading Hindi general entertainment brand.

"We're thrilled to be broadening our presence in one of the largest and fastest growing TV markets in the world, and deepening our already strong partnership with Network18." commented Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman. "This acquisition is an important step in building on our leadership position in India, a key market in Viacom's international growth strategy."

Added A P Parigi, group CEO Network18: "This acquisition by Viacom International Media Networks further strengthens the partnership with Network18 both in terms of depth and breadth. I am confident India will emerge as a global entertainment powerhouse in the year ahead."