Network18 brings Glitz to India's exhib sector

Conglomerate to open with single-screen theater

NEW DELHI -- Network18 will make its move into the exhibition sector under the brand name Glitz, which will be operated by newly created subsidiary Stargaze.

Funded by Capital18, the parent group's venture capital and private equity arm, the first Glitz cinema -- a single-screen theater -- opens this week in New Delhi.

"We have a national rollout plan to cover urban and non-urban markets," Capital18 managing director Sarbvir Singh said Tuesday.

India is still considered one of the world's most underserved cinematic markets with about 10,000 existing screens, or about 12 for every 1 million people.

Singh said Stargaze "is an independent division outside the group's various joint ventures such as Viacom18," but he did not provide investment details or the number of screens planned that will also include multiplexes. Stargaze will be headed by newly appointed executive Sumant Bhargava.

Stargaze will face competition from established players like PVR Cinemas and Adlabs Cinemas.