Mumbai, Nov 7 (UNI) Viacom and Network18 today announced the completion of formalities leading to the formation of their 50:50 joint venture in India Viacom18 Media.
The companies had announced their plans for the joint venture in May 2007. Viacom18 Media will include television, film and digital media content across numerous brands as well as consumer products to build India's leading multi-platform entertainment powerhouse.
Viacom18 Media will be managed by a six-member board with equal representation from Viacom and Network18.
Viacom18 Media will launch a new Hindi-language general entertainment channel in India early next year. The service will consist of original, locally produced programming, acquisitions and content from MTV Networks. The joint venture will operate the successful local networks, MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon India, of MTV Networks (MTVN), a unit of Viacom. In future, Viacom18 Media will also launch a suite of niche channels from the MTV Networks portfolio, as well as new brands.
Studio18, the Motion Pictures division of Network18, is also an integral part of Viacom18 and it will continue to produce, acquire and distribute Hindi-language films.
Speaking to reporters today, MTV Networks International President and Board of Viacom18 Media Chairman Robert Bakish commented, ''This joint venture reinforces our long-term commitment with the Indian market. We look forward for expanding our presence in India with our new partners and are dedicated to providing local audiences with high quality entertainment that is reflective of their culture and the world around them across every screen and for every demography.'' Viacom, consisting of BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, is the world's leading entertainment content company. It engages audiences on television, motion picture and digital platforms through many of the world's best known entertainment brands. Viacom's global reach includes approximately 145 channels and 300 online properties in 160 countries and territories.