Viacom Inc and New Delhi-headquartered diversified media company TV18 Group on Tuesday unveiled a new 50/50 joint venture, Viacom-18.

The strategic alliance, which is subject to regulatory approval, will create a multi-platform entertainment company, carrying television, film and digital media content.

Financial terms of the partnership were not given.

Among planned projects, Viacom-18 will launch a new Hindi general entertainment channel this year, which will include original programming and acquisitions.

Meanwhile, Viacom's Mumbai-based MTV Networks India will be included in the new partnership bringing on board existing channels MTV, Vh1 and kids' channel Nick.

Viacom-18 will also launch a further suite of targeted channels in the future from the MTV Networks portfolio, as well as new brands. Digital media content across all television brands will also be developed and distributed.

The TV18 Group will contribute its films division to the joint venture, which produces, acquires and distributes Hindi-language films via its Mumbai-based subsidiary Studio 18. Viacom-18 will also jointly manage another newly set up division, The Indian Film Company, which is in the process of being listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

As for Viacom-18's management structure, Viacom Inc president and CEO Philippe Dauman said that a CEO for the venture will be appointed by an as-yet unformed joint board of directors.

"India is one of Viacom's priority markets for expansion internationally," commented Dauman in a statement, "This partnership will transform and significantly enlarge our business to offer audiences greater content diversity across platforms, and opportunities for advertisers to reach the full spectrum of demographics."

MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath said, "MTV Networks is a pioneer in creating locally customized channels around the world, and this alliance continues that tradition and accelerates our long-term growth in India. The partnership reinforces our vision to be the premier provider of diverse, compelling entertainment experiences to audiences globally across every platform."

MTV Networks vice chairman Bill Roedy added, "By combining our successful MTVN India business with assets from the TV18 Group, we will also support the robust film and TV production industry, as well as fuel the explosive growth of digital media."

The TV18 Group proposes to eventually house its investment in the Viacom-18 joint venture through its general broadcast subsidiary GBN which also has an alliance with Time Warner for the CNN-IBN news network. TV18 also has a separate joint venture with CNBC that runs business news network CNBC TV18.

TV18 Group managing director Raghav Bahl clarified that the new agreement with Viacom "does not pose any conflict of interest with our existing partnerships as they are all in different segments such as business news and current affairs while the Viacom alliance focuses on entertainment."

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