Summary:

Update: UTV has acquired 76 percent stake (not 80 percent stake as earlier indicated to the BSE) in IT Nation for Rs. 15 crores. More import…

Update: UTV has acquired 76 percent stake (not 80 percent stake as earlier indicated to the BSE) in IT Nation for Rs. 15 crores. More importantly, they intend to invest Rs. 120 crores on the digital space over the next two years. On the digital music front, they’ve launched UTV New Media with a catalogue of 20,000 music titles. The music – which includes Bollywood and Regional (Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu movie music), as per the release, is available using the short code 59995. UTV has also put into place relationships and arrangements with 65 mobile operators…probably courtesy of the relationships established by Indiagames, another of UTVs acquisitions.

UTV is indulging in some major hype-building: the release claims of a portfolio of 10 websites. I think only 5 sites are of any consequence: UTVi, which was developed in-house, and Channeltimes, CXOtoday, Enterpriser.in and Techtree.com, which were acquired through the IT Nation acquisition. Of the other sites only Bindass has some content, while the other sites – UTV Motion Pictures, Bindass Movies, World Movies, UTV movies – are just corporate sites with a few other features. As expected, TechTree will have a TV show on UTVi, called “The TechTree”. It’s expected to rival Network18s Tech2.com show, and ironically, Varun Singh, CTO of Web18 and Editor of Tech2 was earlier the editor of TechTree.

Original Story (23rd May 2008): UTV has completed the acquisition of IMPL, the company that owns IT Nation, via its wholly owned subsidiary United New Media Ventures Ltd (UNMVL), the company has informed the BSE. As per the notice, IMPL is a consumer and trade focused publication – an “Online Technology Infomediary”, focused on the target group betwen 15-35. UNMVL will own 80 76 percent stake in IMPL – a majority stake. More in the extended text.

IMPL owns TechTree.com, CXOToday.com, Enterpriser.in, ChannelTimes.com and magazine360.com, targeting consumer and business tech.

The UTV-IMPL combo faces competition from 9.9 Media, which acquired Jasubhai Digital Media (hence Digit, CTO Forum, SKOAR!) and Network18, which already as Tech2 and BizTech2 and acquired Infomedia India (hence Chip, T3, AVMax etc). And then there’s BSE listed Cybermedia which has Voice & Data, CIOL, Living Digital, Dataquest, PCQuest, and Dare, among others.

By Nikhil Pahwa

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