Anil Ambani's Reliance Broadcast Network's ambitions to foray deeper into the Indian broadcast space seem to be finally taking concrete shape. RBNL is learnt to have signed a preliminary, non-binding term sheet with RTL Group to launch television channels in India.This joint venture is in addition to RBNL's existing association with the CBS group.
The exact time of launch and the size of the deal are not known yet. When contacted, RBNL refused to comment. The Reliance Group already has licences for approximately 20 channels, which are expected to be launched through RBNL. In 2010 it had received internal approval to raise Rs 400 crore.
The JV will initially broadcast English-language general entertainment channels including English language international content, mainly from RTL Group's production arm Fremantle Media. It could later explore Hindi-language and regional-language general entertainment content.
According to sources, the association with RTL maybe a stepping stone for RBNL to launch several channels soon, including the news space.
The company has already a general entertainment channel in partnership with CBS Studios - BIG CBS Prime. Two other channels BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS Spark are slated for launch by end of the month.
The Luxembourg-based RTL operates leading TV channels and radio stations in several European countries and Russia.