CBS, Reliance Partner on Indian TV Network

Partnership creates three English language channels geared at youth and female audiences

CBS Studios International and Reliance Broadcasting are teaming up to launch an Indian TV Network, the two companies announced on Wednesday.

In inking the agreement, CBS joins a long list of media companies such as Walt Disney and Time Warner who have bet heavily on India, often with mixed success. It’s easy to see why India remains such an attractive target. Centered in one of the world’s most rapidly expanding markets, the Indian television industry is projected to grow 15 percent between 2010 and 2014 and generate $11.3 billion in 2014.

Both partners will have a 50 percent stake in the new company, which will be named BIG CBS Networks. The joint venture will create three English language television channels geared towards Indian audiences. The three channels will be named BIG CBS Prime, a general entertainment channel; BIG CBS Spark, which will be geared toward young audiences; and BIG CBS Love, a channel for women.

BIG CBS plans to air shows from the network’s library, as well as upcoming shows such as "Hawaii Five-0," "The Defenders" and "Blue Bloods." Among the programs it expects to offer are current hits “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Survivor,” as well as older shows such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Fraser,” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

The company may eventually produce its own original English language content.

In addition to India, the company plans to operate in the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Pakistan.

Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and CBS Studios International, a division of CBS Corporation