MUMBAI: NDTV Group has entered into a strategic alliance with Scripps Networks Interactive, a developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the internet in the United States.
The proposed transaction will result in Scripps Networks Interactive acquiring 69 percent of NDTV Group’s lifestyle programming subsidiary, NDTV Lifestyle. NDTV Lifestyle is anchored by NDTV Good Times, India’s top-ranked English-language lifestyle television channel. NDTV Group will retain a 31 percent stake in the joint venture.
Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV Group reached a definitive agreement on the $55 million transaction on Wednesday night. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2010.
“We know our lifestyle brands play well around the globe, and NDTV Good Times channel and NDTV Lifestyle serve as sturdy platforms for us to build lifestyle television programming businesses in one of the world’s most promising media marketplaces,” said Scripps Networks International president Greg Moyer. “With the NDTV Group, we’ve chosen a knowledgeable, highly respected partner that has a deep understanding of what it takes to engage and delight media consumers in India. This partnership gives us tremendous entrée to India’s television-viewing and Internet-browsing public.”
“Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV are clear leaders in lifestyle programming, which makes this strategic alliance between our two companies particularly powerful,” said NDTV Group founder and principal shareholder Prannoy Roy. “With the unparalleled experience that Scripps has creating lifestyle brands and NDTV’s depth of knowledge of the Indian market, we intend on building strong lifestyle media businesses that will aggregate large and engaged audiences in India.”
Smeeta Chakrabarti, who has served as chief executive officer of NDTV Lifestyle since 2007, will continue in that leadership role after the transaction is completed as will other members of the NDTV Lifestyle management team.
“Smeeta and the entire management team at NDTV Lifestyle have done an outstanding job in a very short period of time creating a valuable brand at NDTV Good Times,” Moyer said. “We will rely on their expertise and creativity as new members of the Scripps team to build on the significant accomplishments they’ve achieved to date.”