Despite losses Anil eyes BIG in media business- To launch 20 new TV channels [Media Monday]


Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. (RBNL) recently raised Rs. 2.83 Billion via preferential allotment of 33.32 million equity shares at a price of Rs 85 per share. Even though RBNL which houses the radio and Out-of-Home business of R-ADAG faced a net loss of Rs 294.17 million for the year on a revenue of Rs 1.08 billion, the company is betting big on the future of media industry.


Reliance Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the media and entertainment arm of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-Adag) is set to enter the broadcasting space by launching two companies viz. Reliance Big TV Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and Reliance Big TV News Pvt. Ltd. The group is aiming at launching 20 new channels, 4 in news (2 business news and 2 general news). The other group will launch channels ranging from Music to General Entertainment to regional Movie Channels!

RBNL and CBS Studios International, a division of CBS have formed a 50:50 joint venture as a limited liability company – BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd. By early next year we can see Channels such as BIG CBS Prime (English GEC), BIG CBS Spark (English Youth) and BIG CBS love (English GEC for Women).

Moving into TV Channels business will make RBNL a complete 360 degree media company- Radio, Movies, Television, Internet and Outdoor! But even though they have money and are foraying into everything are they doing enough to become a market leader? I have serious doubts when it comes to R-ADAG group. They are trying to do everything without focussing on some key aspects of business. Let’s try to check some of them-

  • Television broadcasting in itself is a huge entity, which requires hell lot of commitment and innovation. Simply getting content from big production houses of Hollywood won’t help. Here they are competing with giants such as Star, Zee and TV 18.
  • DTH industry is already in red and with pathetic customer support Reliance is not doing any better than it’s competitors.
  • Their outdoor business  venture BIG STREETS saw a setback recently- the company allegedly failed to fulfil its licence fee payment commitment to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on account of slack business.

I’m not sure how well are it’s other entities doing, but I simply know that no one can become a market leader in any business without commitment. More than just playing with public money, I would like to see Reliance (A-Adag) focussing more on individual businesses, grow them and then move in another business.

Do you agree with my viewpoint?

  1. Amit Bhide says

    nice one.. thanks

    you have mentioned the BIG DTH not doing very well.. that aroused my curiosity about the DTH market in general. Like who is leading who is gaining and who is losing.. an article on that would be a welcome..

    1. Yash says

      Everyone is bleeding. Tata Sky and Dish are leading the pack but their life is certainly not jhingalala. :) AirTel, Sun, Videocon, BIG, DD all are just also runs for now.

      1. rabi gupta says

        @Yash: Correct! Everyone is bleeding because of the price war.

    2. rabi gupta says

      @Amit: Glad you liked.

      As far as the post in concerned, thanks for the idea. will definitely try to gather some information and put it as a post.

  2. Yash says

    Hi Rabi, any particular reason for putting numbers in billions and millions? The target readers of this blog are Indians right? It is far easier to understand and to put the amount in context if you use crores and lakhs. 2.83 billion doesn’t really give an idea of the quantum of money but if you say 283 crores, the amount becomes much more understandable. Also 29.42 crores is better to grasp than 294.17 millions. If you were referring to US Dollars then billions and millions would make sense but for Rupees, crores and lakhs are far easier to relate to cause that’s what we have been using since childhood.

    But may be its just me. :)

    1. rabigupta says

      Hi Yash, thanks for your comments.

      There is no particular reason for same! However I was just lazy enough to not convert the numbers in lakhs/crores and I used them as it is from source. But I appreciate your efforts :) and will take care of this next time!

      1. Yash says

        Hi Rabi, yup it does take some effort to convert all those numbers ;)

        Later in the day I heard an ad on Radio about Big-CBS English GEC. They are bringing all latest GEC shows to India. BIG has not fared well in most of the media verticals except movie distribution. Their Internet, radio, DTH and movie rental ventures aren’t doing well either. You are right about focus.

        Only time will tell how it goes.

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