Reliance Broadcast Pacts with Europe's RTL Group

The two broadcast giants will operate an equal joint venture for five channels in India.

NEW DELHI -- European entertainment network RTL Group – part of Bertelsmann AG - and Reliance Broadcast Network Limited announced the signing of a joint venture agreement “to launch thematic television channels in India through an equally owned, joint venture company.”

RBNL runs BIG CBS, an equal joint venture with CBS Inc, that recently launched three international entertainment channels here.

The joint venture will be a limited liability company, incorporated in India with RTL Group and RBNL (through its subsidiaries) acting as shareholders with an equal 50% equity interest in the joint venture. Investment figures were not given while a launch date for the channels will be announced later.

The JV will include two English-speaking TV channels, a reality channel with international content (mainly from RTL Group’s production arm FremantleMedia) and a channel primarily targeting male viewers with action-oriented content.

“This joint venture brings Europe’s leaders into India and RBNL is proud to be at the core of creating a revolution in the Indian English entertainment space. We are committed to offering audiences unprecedented international television content, and RTL Group’s, extensive library and lineage compliment the partnership perfectly," RBNL CEO Tarun Katial said.

“RTL Group believes strongly in the Indian market -- a market with a young population which loves TV and impressive potential for further growth. We are thrilled to have such a strong local partner as Reliance Broadcast Network for our first broadcasting venture in Asia," RTL Group executive VP, Regional Operations & Business Development, Central and Eastern Europe, Andreas Rudas said.