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With over a billion residents, India is a market that Western companies can’t ignore. The latest big media conglomerate to make a significant play in the region is NBC Universal, which has struck a partnership with New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), India’s largest news and infotainment network. The deal, worth $150 million, gives NBCU an indirect stake of 26 percent of NDTV.
This means NDTV has a valuation significantly larger than when Velocity Interactive Group put a seed investment in of $20 million just nine months ago. The company is growing very fast.
NBCU saw this growth and felt such a large investment was justified for an expansion into entertainment and convergence, Velocity partner Ross Levinsohn told us. NBCU gives huge amount of brand and library access of English content and movies to NDTV, Levinsohn went on to note.
The convergence of both companies’ strengths into the online world will be part of the plan as well. Perhaps this will hasten NBC’s roll out its online video site Hulu to other parts of the world?
With the deal, NBCU will have an option to increase its holding in NDTV up to 50 percent in two years. This could be a smart play given NDTV’s quick growth and planned expansion to the Middle East, Malaysia and even the United States.
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