Our Bureau

New Delhi, Aug. 30

THE Prannoy Roy promoted New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has decided to enter into an agreement with Astro Broadcast Corporation Ltd that proposes to establish a joint venture company to set up and broadcast 24-hour channels in South East Asia.

NDTV will be a minority partner in the joint venture with a stake of up to 20 per cent in the company.

"The joint venture company will conduct its business operations initially in Indonesia and Malaysia," it said in a notice to the stock exchanges.

According to analysts tracking the sector, "It is basically the experience of running a news network that NDTV is likely to bring to the table. It has been in the news business for the last 10 years."

However, NDTV officials were not available to share details of the deal, including the proposed investment.

The Astro Broadcast Corporation Ltd is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks Plc headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is not Astro's first alliance with an Indian company.

Last year, it had entered into an agreement with Sun Group for the establishment of a joint venture to originate, aggregate and distribute television programming and channels for a global audience.

Meanwhile, NDTV's share price on the BSE went up marginally by 0.09 per cent to close at Rs 232.15.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 31, 2005)
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