NDTV and NBC Universal execute memorandum of agreement

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Mumbai, Jan 22 (UNI) NBC Universal (NBCU) and NDTV, today announced the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), to form a long-term strategic partnership in India.

NBC Universal will acquire an effective 26 per cent share in NDTV Networks, the holding company for NDTV's entertainment and lifestyle channels, digital media and other interests, including media products and services, from this tie-up.

According to a release issued here, the agreement also includes an option for NBC Universal to increase its stake to become a 50 per cent partner with NDTV in the Joint Venture company through which NBCU is investing, subject to any necessary consents and approvals.

The option would be exercised at fair market value in two years' time.

Channels operated by NDTV Networks includes NDTV Imagine, the Hindi general entertainment channel, launched yesterday, and the recently unveiled lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times.

The announcement was made today by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal and Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman and joint founder of NDTV.

Mr Zucker said, ''This will be a significant investment for NBC Universal in an important emerging market and further illustrate our commitment to expand our company internationally, particularly in high-growth areas. The Indian TV market is growing at a rate of 16 per cent annually, which provides huge opportunities now and into the future.'' Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman, joint founder and major shareholder of NDTV, stated, ''This agreement is a significant step for us. Today, two pioneers in the television history of the world's two largest democracies have come together to cater to a dynamic and demanding set of viewers.'' UNI LS SR VKG2048

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