New Delhi: Indiaâ€™s richest man Mukesh Ambani is all set to emerge as a media tycoon and a telecom czar in a deal that may cost Â his Reliance Industries LtdÂ around $700 million. He will take controlling stakes in two of Indiaâ€™s top media companies Network 18 and TV 18.
Network 18 owns print, television and online outlets. Its unit TV18 owns and operates news stations CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, IBN7 and CNBC-Awaaz. Ambaniâ€™s big media move follows a global trend where telecommunications companies are snapping up content firms to upgrade what they can offer consumers.
Reliance Industries owns the Mumbai Indians cricket team. It also has a sports management joint venture, called IMG Reliance which develops sports, fashion and entertainment properties.
Reliance will now have access to a huge library of video content and websites as it prepares to launch a high-speed broadband network, with fourth-generation telecommunications technology.
IMG Reliance has a 15-year partnership with All India Football Federation to promote soccer in India. It also manages Chennai Open ATP tennis tournament as well as Lakme India Fashion Week.
By integrating his new media acquisitions, he could even use Network18 to launch sports channels or use its shopping channel and websites to promote its retail ventures.
The key to future success depends on orchestrating the next stages of development. How management changes will impact Network18 employees and commercial partners will script the success of this mega investment. Â