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Mint reports that Zoom Entertainment Television, the entertainment and lifestyle channel from BCCL (Times of India Group) is going to sell 25 percent stake to a private equity fund owned by Merrill Lynch. We’ve confirmed from our sources that the deal has already been done – sometime in the past couple of months. Merrill Lynch has picked up 25 percent for Rs. 120 crores ($30 million), valuing the co at $120 million. Zoom intends to go in for an IPO.
We’ve also learned that another channel will be launched by Zoom this fiscal, though we haven’t been able to ascertain the segment that they’ll be targeting. It’s likely to be another niche channel. Why all of this is important from the new media front is because of the content deals that Zoom has done with video streaming sites: their content is available on Rajshri.com, YouTube, Rediff (NSDQ: REDF) iShare, Tinselvision, BigFlicks, BigAdda, among others; mostly revenue share deals, which is the norm in the industry. As per Mint, the investment from Merrill Lynch will be used for strengthening their video content. Zoom content is also live on mobile, on WAP Indiatimes’ 58888. Zoom also has a website – Zoomtv.in.