History, Bio channels to launch in country

LONDON — A&E Television Networks and India’s Network 18 Group announced Wednesday the formation of a joint venture AETN-18 India.

The combine will initially launch the History and Bio channels in the country, followed by other channels from A&E later.

Network 18 will own 51% of the venture and AETN 49%, subject to regulatory approval.

Abbe Raven, president and CEO, AETN said: “India presents us with strong growth opportunities for AETN’s global portfolio strategy.”

Raghav Bahl, founder and editor, Network18 said: “AETN-18 will endeavor to mirror the success that channels like History have had in the U.S. I believe the time is right for India to have a vibrant and dynamic factual entertainment space, led by channels like History.”

The Network 18 group reaches 250 million Indians through its channels that include CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, Colors, MTV, VH1 and Nick, among others. The company recently entered the TV distribution space through an alliance with major south Indian player, the Sun group.

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