Earlier reports had GE’s NBCU investing a “nine figure sum” for 30% of Indian broadcaster/studio NDTV, and they weren’t far off: Jeff Zucker’s company has purchased 26% of NDTV for $150 million, with an option to increase its stake to 50% within two years.
It’s Zucker’s second big international deal since he became CEO; NBC U acquired Sparrowhawk Holdings for $350 million in August, a deal that included the international Hallmark channels. Zucker has made international growth a priority at NBCU; then again, so has every other big media congolmerate, and all of them want a piece of India. News Corp (NWS) is already there in a big way, via Star. And everyone else would like more. Reuters:
India, the world’s third-biggest cable TV market, is forecast to become Asia’s most lucrative pay TV market by 2015, and foreign broadcasters are keen for a bigger piece of the pie.
Turner International, a unit of Time Warner Inc (TWX), recently entered a joint venture with India’s Alva Brothers to launch general entertainment channels in regional languages.
Viacom Inc (VIAB.) has a joint venture with India’s TV18 group for general entertainment, and Walt Disney Co (DIS) has a minority stake in UTV Software Communications, which also has general entertainment channels.
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