Scripps Networks Interactive will expand into India by entering into a strategic partnership with the country’s leading broadcaster, NDTV Group. The proposed transaction will result in Scripps Networks Interactive acquiring 69% of NDTV Group’s lifestyle programming subsidiary, NDTV Lifestyle. NDTV Lifestyle is anchored by NDTV Good Times, India’s top-ranked English-language lifestyle television channel. NDTV Group will retain a 31 percent stake in the joint venture.
Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV Group reached a definitive agreement on the $55 million transaction Wednesday night. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of Q1.
“We know our lifestyle brands play well around the globe, and NDTV Good Times channel and NDTV Lifestyle serve as sturdy platforms for us to build lifestyle television programming businesses in one of the world’s most promising media marketplaces,” said Greg Moyer, president of Scripps Networks International. “With the NDTV Group, we’ve chosen a knowledgeable, highly respected partner that has a deep understanding of what it takes to engage and delight media consumers in India. This partnership gives us tremendous entrée to India’s television-viewing and Internet-browsing public.”
Scripps Networks Interactive has made international expansion one of its primary business objectives. The proposed joint venture with the NDTV Group follows the formation of two other partnerships this year that will result in significant distribution of the Scripps-owned Food Network in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Food Network reaches about 10 million homes in the United Kingdom following its launch on Sky Nov. 9.
NDTV Good Times is an award-winning channel that was launched by NDTV in 2007. The network targets India’s rapidly growing middle class of television viewers with personality-driven programming and Internet content that focuses on a wide range of lifestyle genres, including food, travel, fashion and style. In 2008, NDTV Good Times was judged the best fashion and lifestyle channel in India at the country’s annual INDY’s Awards for excellence in mass communications, advertising and branding.
“Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV are clear leaders in lifestyle programming, which makes this strategic alliance between our two companies particularly powerful,” said Prannoy Roy, NDTV Group’s founder and principal shareholder. “With the unparalleled experience that Scripps has creating lifestyle brands and NDTV’s depth of knowledge of the Indian market, we intend on building strong lifestyle media businesses that will aggregate large and engaged audiences in India.”
Smeeta Chakrabarti, who has served as CEO of NDTV Lifestyle since 2007, will continue in that leadership role after the transaction is completed as will other members of the NDTV Lifestyle management team.
In addition to operating NDTV Good Times, Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV Group are contemplating the eventual launch of other lifestyle television channels through the NDTV Lifestyle partnership.