CBS To Launch TV Channels In India

CBS Studios International and Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL) Wednesday announced a deal to launch television channels in India through a joint venture company to be called BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd.

BIG CBS will be incorporated in India, and CBS and RBNL will each have a 50% equity interest. The company will initially launch three English language entertainment channels customized for the Indian market in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The three channels will be branded BIG CBS Prime, a general entertainment channel; BIG CBS Spark, a youth channel; and BIG CBS Love, an entertainment channel for women. The channels' content will include new series like Hawaii Five-0, current hits NCIS and Survivor, and library content like Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond.

The channels will be offered to audiences across the Indian subcontinent covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan.

"Reliance is an international media and entertainment powerhouse and the perfect partner for CBS to expand further into India," said Armando Nuñez, President, CBS Studios International, in a statement. "The vast programming, production and media resources of our two companies position us extremely well to serve audiences, advertisers and all constituents of these new channels. This is an exciting alliance with potential for amazing synergies and new opportunities for our companies in one of the world's most dynamic business and media markets."

The joint venture is CBS Studios International's second launch of international channels in the past year. Last September it established a joint venture with Chello Media to launch a suite of CBS-branded channels in the U.K.