Mumbai – August 18, 2010 — Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and CBS Studios International, a division of CBS Corporation, today announced their equally owned joint venture. The Joint Venture Company (the “JVCo”) will be a limited liability company incorporated in India. CBS and RBNL (through its subsidiary) will act as shareholders and each have a 50% equity interest in the JVCo. The joint venture will, at its start, see the creation of three new television channels allowing for programming rights in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing television markets, and across the Indian subcontinent. Leveraging both brand strengths, the JVCo is called BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd. The channels will be English language entertainment channels customized for the Indian market, and will premier in the 4th quarter 2010, offering audiences immediate access to new and current CBS programs, including some of the most popular television programs in the world.
The three new channels will be made available across a network of digital and analog distribution platforms. They will also be offered to audiences across the Indian subcontinent covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan. The themed channels will be targeted to India’s fast-growing, upwardly mobile population and branded BIG CBS Prime, a premium English language general entertainment channel; BIG CBS Spark, India’s first-ever English language youth channel; and BIG CBS Love, India’s first-ever English language entertainment channel for women.
With Reliance Broadcast Network Limited’s multi-media presence and an integrated sales offering combined with the content and media muscle of CBS, BIG CBS stands to make a significant impact on India’s burgeoning television industry. Add to this considerable synergies across Reliance ADAG platforms, which include distribution forays through BIG TV and Reliance Digicable, television production through BIG SYNERGY and BIG Productions as well as filmed content through BIG PICTURES, international partnerships with DreamWorks and the Group’s many advertising and promotional platforms, the potential of this Joint Venture clearly has exciting prospects. The wide range of popular CBS content to be offered by the channels will include new series such as “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Defenders” and “Blue Bloods,” as well as current hits such as “NCIS,” “Survivor,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “90210,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Entertainment Tonight.” The channels will also draw from 70,000 hours of content from CBS’s vast program library, including the original “Melrose Place,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Frasier,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Charmed,” to name a few.
In addition, the venture will also acquire content from third-party suppliers and will consider producing original English language programming for the channels in the future.