NDTV Networks has informed the BSE that the group has have successfully concluded their strategic partnership initiative with NBC Universal (NYSE: GE). NBCU has taken an indirect stake in 26 percent of NDTV Networks PLC for $150 million. More importantly – NBCU has the option, in two years, to increase their stake in the holding Company of Networks PLC to 50%, with the NDTV group holding an equal 50% stake. This appears to be a change from the earlier statement, according to which “NBCU affiliates would also have the option of acquiring upto 50 percent stake in the NDTV Networks Plc in the third year of the joint venture.” We’d broken the NBCU-NDTV deal story in Jan this year.
NDTV intends to split up its operations into two segments – News and Beyond News; the “Beyond News” segment will include the companies under NDTV Networks – the digital media business NDTV Convergence, the channels NDTV Imagine, NDTV Lifestyle, NDTV Emerging Markets (consultancy for launching channels), media process outsourcing co NGEN, and NDTV Labs. NDTV also plans to launch a World Movies channel – NDTV Lumiere.