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Sony ups controlling stake in India's Multi Screen Media to 94%

June 14, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • An Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is a hit on Sony's SET Network.
An Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is a hit on… (Sony )

Sony Pictures Television is upping its stake in Multi Screen Media, which operates television networks in India.

Under the terms of the deal, Sony will pay $271 million to acquire the 32% of Multi Screen Media shares held by Grandway Global Holdings and Atlas Equifin. Upon completion of the deal, Sony will own about 94% of the company.

"SPT has enjoyed great success with our channels in India and this acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to entertaining Indian audiences," said Andy Kaplan, president of worldwide networks for Sony Pictures Television.

Sony's channels there include SET, a Hindi entertainment channel; MAX, a movie channel with a heavy load of Bollywood fare; and a sports channel called Six.

For years media giants have seen India as a land of opportunity. Viacom, for example, is a partner with India's Network18 Group, which operates six general entertainment channels. News Corp. operates Star India, which carries 33 channels.

Not every media company has found success on the subcontinent, though. Earlier this year Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting closed its Hindi entertainment channel, Imagine TV, because it failed to generate enough ratings and revenue to justify keeping it on.

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