Taking a step towards its plans to expand beyond the news space into the entertainment and lifestyle segment, New Dehli Television Ltd (NDTV) on Tuesday announced a partnership with Bollywood director Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions to launch a 24-hour entertainment channel soon.
Johar will be on the board of NDTV’s entertainment channel and Dharma Productions will hold an equity stake in it, an NDTV statement said. However, it is not clear how much stake Dharma Productions will hold in the channel.
Karan Johar and Dharma Productions will work exclusively with NDTV to achieve new levels of excellence in entertainment programming, it said. Johar will help originate concepts and new programming ideas for the channel and will be an ambassador for the NDTV entertainment brand.
|Karan Johar's Dharma productions will work exclusively for NDTV.|
Speaking on the new alliance, NDTV's President, Prannoy Roy said: “Karan Johar is constantly breaking new ground in quality and transforming Indian movies to world-class standards. He will now help us to redefine and set new benchmarks in entertainment television.”
It was only at the board meeting held on October 2006 that the NDTV board approved a new corporate model for growth. The new model involves setting up of a 100 per cent subsidiary, NDTV Ventures, for expansion beyond news into entertainment and lifestyle channels.
The new model envisages having NDTV Ltd as the parent entity with news and non-news operations under it as separate subsidiaries. Each of the subsidiaries would have a number of verticals.
While it is not clear when the channel will go on air, sources said it should go live by July. Dharma Productions will produce shows for NDTV’s Entertainment channel. The channel will have the first right of refusal on any programme that Dharma produces for television.
Karan Johar said: “For me this partnership between NDTV and Dharma Productions is not just a professional association, it’s a family bonding.”
For the quarter ended September 30, 2006, NDTV announced a 27 per cent growth YOY in revenues. Its revenues stand at Rs 54.5 crore compared to Rs 43 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. NDTV has maintained its revenue leadership in the television news genre.