Kalanithi Maran-owned Sun Network and leading news network Network18 Group today entered into a strategic partnership to form a pan-India distribution company Sun18.
“Sun18 is a very important initiative for us in the distribution platform business and is being created with the vision of better leveraging our very successful television brands across the country,” Sun Network Chairman and Managing Director Kalanithi Maran said.
As per the agreement, Sun18 would distribute a total of 33 channels on all platforms, including cable, DTH and IPTV, across the country, Sun Television Network said in a statement here.
The 33 channels distributed by Sun18 are COLORS, MTV, Nick, Vh1, Homeshop18, CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, CNBC-Awaaz, IBN-7, IBN-Lokmat, Disney, Disney XD, Hungama, SUN TV among others, it said.
It also said through this alliance Network 18 Group also entered into the Indian television distribution space.
Currently, Network18 comprises of CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, CNBC-Awaaz, IBN-7 and IBN-Lokmat.
As per the alliance, two companies Sun18 Media Services North and South are formed whereby, the latter would focus on non-Hindi-speaking markets and will be managed by the Sun Network.
Sun18 North will focus on rest of the Indian markets and it would be operated by Network18 Group. It will be headed by Haresh Chawla, who is the Group CEO Network18 and Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat would be the COO of Sun18 North.
Sun18 South would be headed by Tony D’Silva, it said.
“This partnership extends Network18’s presence into yet another critical component of the Indian television and entertainment space. In Sun Group, we’ve found a partner that not only complements our own strengths, but is also as ambitious to change the landscape of the Indian broadcasting industry,” Network18 Group Founder Raghav Bahl said.
“In Network 18, we believe we have found an alliance partner to fuel our distribution plans for the rest of the country. The content assets and resources of SUN TV Network and Network 18, would enable us to continue to thrive in an ever-changing media landscape,” he added.