NDTV-Astro enter into broadcast JV for SE Asia

New Delhi: NDTV-promoted by Prannoy Roy and South-east Asian news broadcasting company, Astro Broadcast, have entered into a tie-up for broadcasting operations in South-east Asia.

NDTV will hold 20 per cent equity in the joint venture, which is yet to be named. According to information given to the Bombay Stock Exchange by NDTV the joint venture will initially do business in Indonesia and Malaysia.

NDTV now runs three channels — English news channel NDTV 24X7, Hindi news channel NDTV India and business channel NDTV Profit. In May NDTV sought government permission for starting a fourth channel proposed to be a bi-lingual one, in Hindi and English, focusing on entertainment and lifestyle and other non-news programmes.

NDTV launched its two 24-hour news channels, NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India Hindi in April 2003 while on January 17, 2005, NDTV Profit went on air.

Sector analysts feel NDTV would bring to the table its 10-year experience in running a news network.

The Astro Broadcast Corporation is a 100-per cent subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks Plc headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is Astro's second alliance with an Indian company.

Last year, Astro and Sun TV had entered into a $25-million joint venture to generate, aggregate and distribute television programming and channels for a global audience. This joint venture is aimed at creating content for filmed and other entertainment products in Indian languages.

They include Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali, for distribution in international markets.

On the BSE, the NDTV share opened at Rs233.80 this morning, touched a high of Rs241 and a low of Rs231.55, and closed at Rs232.15.