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UTVi, the business news channel owned by UTV promoter Ronnie Screwvala, is in advanced talks with Bloomberg LP for a strategic partnership, according to a person familiar with the talks. A decision will likely be taken by Bloomberg’s top management this week, the person said.
The deal, sewn up by the wire service’s Asia team and being pitched to its New York headquarters this week, involves the following: Bloomberg will get a 10% stake in UTV News Ltd, UTVi will get Bloomberg content and also will become a co-branded channel. Bloomberg will also get a license fee but the payments will be staggered over a multi-year period. Bloomberg also wants a share of the channel’s revenues, the person said.
Launched in 2008, UTVi is at the bottom of the ratings chart for business news channels, trailing CNBC TV18 and NDTV Profit. The channel has a content tie up with ABC News. However, the channel, which used to have regular slots for ABC News content, has virtually stopped using it, even though no announcement has been made ending the partnership.
UTV and Bloomberg did not respond to a request for comment.