RIL’s TV18 acquires majority control of Viacom18 for Rs 128 cr

Reliance Industries controlled media group TV18 Broadcast said it has acquired a controlling stake in Viacom 18, which operates channels such as Colors and Comedy Central in India.

The joint venture was formed as a 50:50 partnership in 2007.

However, because neither party had a controlling stake, TV18 Broadcast was prevented from showing the revenue accrued through Viacom18 in its financial results after a recent accounting rule change.

This kept out most of the company’s entertainment operations from being consolidated with TV18’s accounts, leaving only the news segment inside the company.

The controlling stake was acquired by buying an additional 1% equity stake in the company from US-based Viacom. The 1% stake was purchased at a price of $20 mln or about Rs 128 cr.

Viacom Inc., the holding company of MTV Asia Ventures, will continue to hold 49% stake in Viacom18 through its subsidiaries.

Viacom18 also runs MTV, Nickelodeon, Rishtey, Vh1 and a host of  regional language channels under the Colors brand.