The BIG news here is that CBS Studios International has joined hands with Reliance Broadcast Network, a subsidiary of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and the two have announced their plans to launch several new TV channels in India under a joint venture. Christened the BIG CBS Network, the venture would operate, market, and promote various entertainment and niche channels in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives.
The top echelon of both companies were unanimous in saying that the opportunities in Indian Television right now are infinite and that with the strengths and assets of both companies combined, they hope to capture the 134 million TV households in India. CBS Studios" International President Armando NuÑez and Reliance Broadcast Network CEO Tarun Katial both stated that they are confident of doing great things together. With CBS" superior content and BIG"s in-depth understanding of the Indian market, they hope to click instantly with the Indian audience, serving them with unparalleled content in entertainment.
CBS is the latest player to join the league of heavyweights such as Viacom, Turner, Disney, and News Corp, who already have major interests and stakes in Indian Television. Big CBS plans to start broadcasting from the last quarter of this year itself, beginning with three English language channels: Big CBS Prime (GEC), Big CBS Spark (customized for Youth), and Big CBS Love (a dedicated Women"s Channel).
Initially, a lot of their content will be CBS" hit properties from abroad, such as 'Blue Bloods", 'Hawaii Five-O", 'NCIS", 'Survivor", 'CSI", 'America"s Next Top Model", and 'Entertainment Tonight", along with older classics such as 'Melrose Place", 'Frasier", 'Star Trek: The Next Generation", 'Charmed", 'Everybody Loves Raymond", and so on. Later on, the company plans to produce it"s own local content in Hindi, English, and other regional languages as well.
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