Network 18 board on Tuesday approved the acquisition of E TV regional channels for Rs 2100 crore. Network 18 will raise Rs 2700 crore via Rights issue at Rs 60 per share.
Pratirodh.com published this story when many channels avoided or removed this story from their pages and programmes.
As per the deal, Infotel Broad Band Services Limited (Infotel), a subsidiary of RIL would have access to content of the media and web properties of the two media houses for its plannd 4G broadband internet venture
RIL will fund the Promoters of Network 18 and TV18 to enable them to subscribe to the proposed Rights Issue announced by both the companies.
The promoters are being funded by Independent Media Trust, which has been set up for the benefit of Reliance Industries Limited
Although, both the groups asserted that RIL funding will not affect their management, operational and editorial independence.
however, This very formal and typical corporate declaration will not change the intentions of the masterminds investing in such deals. There is no need to repeat the reality of corporate interventions in media organisations. Over-ruling of editorial and management decisions can not be ignored after such tie-up. The CEOs control the editors in the media groups as their puppets. Similarly, this merry making of Reliance and Network-18 will ultimately be seen on the same track.
Promoter of Network 18 Mr. Raghav Bahl and his team will continue to retain control over both the companiesNetwork18 and TV18.
Network 18 and TV18 would raise about Rs 4,000 crore including Rs 1,700-crore contribution from the promoters.
The merger was conceived as the Asia\\\’s richest man Mukesh Ambani had been looking for a media business to invest money into and Network 18 was starving for cash infusions to cut the debt and expand the business.
Ramaji Rao, owner of E TV, was also looking for investments to keep the business going.
The deal will now help Netwrok 18 getting access to the huge regional market to compete with other groups such as Star and Zee.
The Network 18 broadcast has four National news channels: CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaz, IBN7 and CNN IBN.
The deal marks entry of Mukesh Ambani in the Indian media industry at the time when his younger brother Anil Ambani, who heads the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, has interests in media, film and entertainment through his Reliance Entertainment unit.
Anil Ambani has also bought large stakes in TV Today and other news media companies.
Well, it seems with the big business houses seeking to cater the huge demand for entertainment and news, the news media industry will now be controlled by the corporates.