Jan 18, 2000|
Zee TV to sell 2% stake to foreign ally
Zee Telefilms (Zee TV) is set to finalise the sale of 2% of its stake to a foreign partner. The name of the partner is expected to be announced in a couple of days.
The Zee group reaches reaches 140 million people in 25 million homes in India and another 70 million homes in 15 million homes overseas. It covers about 22-23% of cable homes on an all India basis.
The group bought out its partner Rupert Murdochís 50% stake in ATL, its broadcasting company for around $300 million. The payment was in terms of 4% stake of Zee TV with the balance in cash.
Zee was tipped to be talking to both Time Warner and Viacom for the sale of its stake, which it would not only help to pay off News Corp but also get content for the bouquet of channels that the company plans to have in place.
Viacom owns Paramount Studio and cable networks MTV and Nickelodeon. Zee already has plans to introduce Viacomís cable network Nickelodeon. It is also quite possible that MTV, which competes with Starís Channel V could also eventually form part of the Zee bouquet if the stake is given to Viacom.
This would give the company access not only to programming content essential to cater to international audiences but also access to technology, which is critical in the media business.
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