Sony tipped to take stake in CNBC India

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BOMBAY--Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is negotiating to buy a 20% to 30% holding in CNBC India, a joint venture between regional business channel CNBC Asia and Indian broadcaster TV-18. Company executives would not comment on the size of the stake but say it will be bought out of TV-18's 49% holding in the venture. Sony, like other broadcasters here, such as Star TV, is in the process of building an array of subscription-based channels. SET has its main Sony Hindi channels for entertainment, a movies and sports channel called Sony Max, and the English-language action movie channel AXN.

In the last few weeks, CNBC India appointed SET to handle its marketing, distribution and advertising sales. When the announcement was made, CNBC Asia President Paul France said: "This appointment is in line withCNBC's global strategy of increasing focus on local markets across Asia and, especially, India, where markets are developing at great speeds."

CNBC India is making substantial investments in cable distribution toincrease its reach beyond its current 5.5 million households.

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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