Bloomberg and Business Broadcast News part ways
Business Broadcast News Pvt. Ltd and Bloomberg Lp said on Friday that they wouldn't extend their media licensing agreement, under which Bloomberg TV is aired in India, beyond 31 March, ending a seven-year-old partnership.
"Both parties have mutually agreed to allow the licensing agreement to lapse, and to pursue their respective new business strategies," the companies said in a joint statement. Business Broadcast News, the holding company of the channel, has been operating Bloomberg TV in India for seven years. Reliance Capital Ltd and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, among others, are shareholders in Business Broadcast News.
The statement said Business Broadcast News will continue to operate the business news channel under a fresh branding effective 1 April, subject to regulatory approval. Bloomberg will announce a new media partner in due course. Tarun Katial, director, Business Broadcast News, said the company was exploring various options for content feed partners as well as branding for its channel. "The work will be complete within eight weeks," he said.
Bloomberg Television India reaches 30 million households in India. "Our strategic partnership with Reliance Group and Ronnie Screwvala enabled us to successfully reach millions of viewers in India, and deliver market-moving busi- ness and financial news on India's growth and development," said Parry Ravindranathan, managing director, International, Bloomberg Media Group. "Together, we set new standards in financial broadcast journalism, and we will continue to value our relationship with both partners. In the coming weeks, we will unveil a new chapter for Bloomberg Media in India as we remain more committed than ever to expanding our media operations this year both in broadcast, digital and other platforms."
Katial said the channel had created a benchmark for credible business news reporting with experienced anchors and marquee shows. Bloomberg TV in India faces stiff competition from other business news channels such as CNBC-TV18 from Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani; ET NOW, which is part of Times Network; and NDTV Profit, run by NDTV Ltd. According to the media practice head at a consulting firm, while there may be room for a business channel with niche, international content, another Indian business news channel may find it hard to compete. The person declined to be named.