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Turner to launch channels in India

Networks owned, operated jointly with Alva

MUMBAI – Turner International is to launch a cluster of local TV channels in India. The nets will be owned and operated through a joint venture with local entertainment firm Alva Brothers whose assets include Miditech a TV production company.

Operation will start with the launch of a Hindi-language general entertainment channel at an unspecified time and be followed by other specialized nets, some potentially in other Indian languages.

Alva and Turner, part of the Time-Warner conglom, will each hold a 50% stake in the unnamed JV. Additionally, Turner will acquire a 29% stake in Miditech. Turner is buying a 25% stake from the ICICI venture capital fund and additional shares from the owners Nikhil and Niret Alva.

After the deal Miditech will continue to act as a third party supplier of shows for other nets.

“Investing in this well-established content company and launching yet another channel underscore Turner’s commitment to further grow its business,” Steve Marcopoto, President, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., said. “With our on-going pursuit of international growth, India will continue to be a focal point.”

“The channel will provide fresh alternative content to an increasingly discerning audience,” Nikhil Alva, co-promoter of Alva Brothers, said.

In Asia Turner currently distributes CNN International, CNN Japan, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Pogo and Boomerang.

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