Reliance Entertainment to launch 4 TV channels

Anil Ambani promoted Reliance Entertainment will not put its ambitious broadcasting foray on the backburner, even though the media and entertainment sector is hit hard by the global economic meltdown.

"Yes, we will launch the channels later this year. Our plans have not been deferred because of the current economic situation. We propose to launch four new TV channels very soon." Amit Khanna, chairman, Reliance Entertainment, said to at the annual FICCI Frames conference in Mumbai.

Earlier, the company planned to launch and operate a bouquet of 20 channels under two new entities - Reliance Big TV Entertainment and Reliance Big TV News. However, the number of channels from the bouquet has reduced to only 4 from 20.

Reliance Entertainment will launch a Hindi general entertainment channel and three regional movie channels by the end of this fiscal year. The company may also consider acquiring sick broadcasters as most of them are in deep financial trouble. first reported in April last year that Reliance Entertainment's news broadcasting company will launch four channels, two general news and two business news, one each in Hindi and English in both genres.

The non-news broadcasting company was planning to launch music and movie channels, five general entertainment channels, and dedicated channels focused on children and lifestyle.

In 2008, George Soros, a leading investor, has invested Rs 395 crore for a 3 per cent stake in Reliance Entertainment, giving the valuation of the company at Rs 13,035 crore. Reliance ADAG, through several affiliates and group companies, holds substantial equity stakes in several media and entertainment firms.