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Japan's Sony In Talks To Buy Stake In India's Network18 Media: Bloomberg

Network18 shares rose 18 per cent, while shares of TV18 Broadcast, the broadcast arm of the Network 18 group, were up 4 per cent.

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Japan's Sony Corp is in talks to acquire a stake in Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's TV business, Network18 Media & Investments Ltd, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd, through various subsidiaries, owns a controlling stake in Network18, which has a market capital of about 30 billion rupees ($417.66 million).

Network18 shares rose 18%, while shares of TV18 Broadcast Ltd, the broadcast arm of the Network 18 group, were up 4%.

Sony is doing due diligence and considering several potential deal options. 

A Reliance Industries spokesman declined to comment, saying that the company "evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis." Sony did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

A potential stake deal with Sony would come at a time when India's lucrative but crowded TV market is expected to grow more than 50% in the next three years, according to Statista.

Cable television started going mainstream in India through the 1990s, riding on the country's massive middle-class population.

Network18's channel portfolio includes VH1, Nickelodeon, MTV, CNBC TV18, and a range of other local language channels, along with news portals like Firstpost and Moneycontrol.

The media company also has a broad suite of news channels including CNN-News18, CNBC TV18, and other regional language news channels that together held over a 10% share in TV news viewership in India in fiscal 2018-19, according to its annual report.

(PTI)


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