Viacom 18 becomes official


NEW DELHI -- Viacom and Mumbai-based broadcasting group Network18 have finalized the formation of their equal joint venture in India, dubbed Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd.

First announced in May, Viacom 18 -- which includes television, film and digital media content across numerous brands as well as consumer products -- will be managed by a six-member board with equal representation by Viacom and Network18. An announcement regarding Viacom 18's head will be made later.

"This joint venture reinforces our long-term commitment to the Indian market," said Robert Bakish, MTV Networks International president and Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd chairman. "We look forward to expanding our presence in India with our new partners and are dedicated to providing local audiences with high quality entertainment that is reflective of their culture and the world around them across every screen and for every demographic."

Viacom 18 will launch a new Hindi-language general entertainment channel in India early next year. The joint venture also will operate the existing local channels for MTV Networks here -- MTV India, VH1 and Nickelodeon India.