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CNN, TV18 Broadcast to end alliance after 10 years


New Delhi: Media firm TV18 Broadcast Ltd and Cable News Network, Inc (CNN) will part ways in January next year at the end of their 10 year brand licensing agreement for English news channel CNN IBN in India.

“The conclusion of the arrangement will enable each company thereafter to chart its own growth trajectory independently in one of the most dynamic, complex and fast growing markets in the world,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

In a filing to the BSE, TV18 Broadcast, which operates English news channel CNN IBN, said the company and CNN “will be successfully concluding their ten-year brand licensing and news services arrangement for use of the CNN brand and CNN news content in January 2016″.

“The parties have decided not to renew the arrangement,” it said.

In 2005, Global Broadcast News (GBN), a TV18 group company, had signed a branding agreement with CNN Turner International leading to the launch of English news channel CNN IBN in India.

Later on, GBN became IBN18 Broadcast Ltd, which in turn became TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

Commenting on the development, Network18 Group CEO AP Parigi said: “The last decade has seen a lot of momentum in the Indian media industry and has been particularly exciting for us. During this time we witnessed two media houses coming together to redefine the way news is presented to a demanding audience; we at TV18 have benefited from this relationship with CNN.”

He further said Network18 has grown from two news channels in 2005 to 17 news channels in 2015 but did not disclose what will be the branding of the English news channel post the break-up.

The 10 year partnership comes to an end in October but the co-branding agreement will continue till January 2016, sources said.

The companies, however, did not specify the reasons for not renewing their contract.

CNN International Chief Commercial Officer Rani Raad said in the decade long partnership with TV18, CNN IBN was a “pioneering initiative”.

It is speculated that CNN may tie up with another Indian media house Zee group. Comments from the group, however, could not be immediately obtained.

Last year, in the biggest ever deal in the Indian media sector, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) acquired control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd, for Rs 4,000 crore through Independent Media Trust (IMT).

TV18 Broadcast Ltd shares ended the day at Rs 36.30 per scrip on BSE, down 3.46 per cent from the previous close.

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