Source : Global Broadcast News Limited 
Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:30PM IST (1:00PM GMT)
 
GBN (A TV 18 Group Company) and Lokmat Group to Launch Marathi Language News Channel
New Delhi, Delhi, India

Global Broadcast News Limited (GBN), a TV 18 Group Company and broadcasters of CNN-IBN, India's leading 24 hour English language news & current affairs channel, and strategic partners in IBN7, is entering the regional news space. The company is launching a 24 hour Marathi language news and current affairs channel.

The channel is being launched through a 50:50 joint-venture with the Lokmat Group, owners of Lokmat, the most widely circulated newspaper in Maharashtra, and other publications including Lokmat Times and Lokmat Samachar.

"The launch of the Marathi channel is a continuation of the growth momentum gained by GBN since its launch and is in line with the company's strategy of becoming an integrated media platform both nationally and regionally," says Raghav Bahl, Managing Director of the TV18 Group.

Sameer Manchanda – Joint Managing Director, GBN, said, "We see the regional language space powering the next phase of growth in the Indian television industry. Our partnership with Lokmat will be driven by these opportunities and also be in line with our quest to transform into a full play media house.

"Our new channel will target the ‘highly aware and conscious Marathi speaking' audience in Western India with a delivery style to suit their pace of lives. The spotlight will always be on the spirit of ‘whatever it takes'. We are proud to be associated with a partner like Lokmat, who stand out by not only capturing the people's mood but also being at the forefront of shaping their opinion."

On the occasion, Mr. Vijay Darda, Chairman of the Lokmat Group said, "The joint venture between Lokmat, the largest Marathi daily, with the TV18 Group, India's No.1 news and information network, is a highly potent combination of credible journalism and local knowledge. The joint-venture will combine GBN's world class standards with Lokmat's reach and understanding of the Marathi mind. Lokmat already owns the Marathi space due to its intimate connectivity with the Marathi heartland over the last three decades and this relationship will further expand and strengthen this base."

About GBN:

Global Broadcast News Limited (GBN) owns and operates CNN-IBN, a 24 hour news and current affairs channel. Since its launch in December 2005, it has become India's leading English language news channel. GBN has also ventured into the Hindi news channel segment through its strategic partnership in IBN7. The channels are driven by the spirit of ‘Whatever It Takes' to capture news and events in India and around the world.

The TV18 Group has recently announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture with Viacom. The JV, to be called "Viacom 18", is, subject to regulatory approvals, going to be housed under GBN, the Group's general broadcast arm.

About TV18 Group

Television Eighteen Group (TV18) is India's fastest growing media and entertainment company. It is a leader in news broadcasting with team of 3000 people spread across the country in 30 bureau locations. It has established fully integrated broadcast infrastructure, including state-of-the-art hubs in Mumbai and Delhi. TV18 is the only media company in the globe to have partnered with two of the world's largest media conglomerates. Its leading business news channels, CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz, are in a partnership with NBC Universal – a USD 13 bn. company. Apart from these three channels, its Network also includes IBN7, a leading Hindi general news channel in partnership with the Jagran Group, owners of India's largest Hindi language daily.

WEB18, of the TV18 Group, is a leading player in the Internet space in India. It runs moneycontrol.com, commoditiescontrol.com, ibnlive.com, poweryourtrade.com, easymf.com, indiaearnings.com, tech2.com, cricketnext.com, compareindia.com. TV18 Group is also a significant stakeholder in Jobstreet India, Yatra.in and Big Tree entertainment.

TV18 Group owns the country's first fully integrated Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Newswire 18, India's first real time news & data platform.

About Lokmat

Lokmat Group is the leader in the newspaper segment in Maharashtra publishing 17 editions in three languages; Lokmat (Marathi), Lokmat Samachar (Hindi) and Lokmat Times (English). Its flagship daily Lokmat is the 4th largest read daily in the country and the largest circulated and read newspaper in Maharashtra with over 1.2 million copies sold every day. The Group's combined readership is over 12.3 million. Lokmat prints its dailies from 11 modern printing plants spread across Maharashtra.

 
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