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Help RBNL in pact with RTL of Germany for TV channels
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Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) has entered into an agreement with RTL Group, Europe's second largest media group on Thursday. This development comes after the company's successful joint venture with CBS operationalised in October last year. Under the agreement, RBNL and RTL Group will form a 50:50 joint venture company.

RBNL is the broadcasting arm of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and operates FM radio (Big FM) and television channels (Big CBS). The RTL Group is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries.

“Reliance Broadcast signed a term sheet with RTL Group,” a source told FE. While financials of the agreement are not known, RBNL will have to shell out $10-15 million initially to put in place two channels including its distribution for the first year, an industry source added.

According to details available with FE, the RBNL-RTL joint venture will own and operate two television channels under the brand 'Big' to start with. The first channel will be a dedicated reality channel followed by an action channel. Also, RBNL will get access to a host of reality shows created by Freemantle, a subsidiary of the RTL Group, produced by Mark Burnett Productions the company behind a repertoire of shows such as The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Pop Idol andX Factor, among others.

The RBNL-RTL joint venture will initially broadcast English Language general entertainment channels. It is also looking at launching dedicated channels in Hindi and other regional languages.

RBNL has obtained permission to start 33 channels from the government including a host of news channels. However, through its JV with both CBS and now RTL, the company will only offer content in the entertainment and lifestyle genre.

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