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Network18 Group & Sun Network to launch Sun18

Network18 Group, India's largest News Network and leading full-play media conglomerate and Sun Network, India's largest media conglomerate have joined hands to launch one of India's biggest distribution entities. The new entity, to be called Sun18, will be the first truly pan-India distribution company and aims to become one of the dominant players in the approx Rs. 16,000 crore pay-tv subscription market, over the next 2 years. This alliance also marks the entry of Network18 Group into the Indian television distribution space.

As part of the agreement, to begin with, Sun18 will distribute a total of 33 channels across all platforms in India via all networks including cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS.

Speaking about the partnership, Raghav Bahl, Founder, Network18 Group, said, "This partnership extends Network18's presence into yet another critical component of the Indian television & entertainment space. In Sun Group, we've found a partner that not only complements our own strengths, but is also as ambitious to change the landscape of the Indian broadcasting industry." He further added, "Distribution is one of the high-growth areas in this industry and we're excited to now have a presence in this part of the business as well."

Kalanithi Maran, Chariman & Managing Director, SUN Network, said "SUN18 is a very important initiative for us in the distribution platform business and is being created with the vision of better leveraging our very successful television brands across the country. Network 18 is one of the best managed Media enterprises in India and in them we believe we have found an alliance partner to fuel our distribution plans for the rest of the country. The content assets and resources of SUN TV Network and Network 18, will enable us to continue to thrive in an ever-changing media landscape. Consumers of all of our products ' on screens large and small ' will have the benefit of enhanced content and experiences, delivered to them in new and better ways as a result of this initiative. It also signals our deep commitment to drive greater growth from subscription revenues."

With these 33 channels, the Sun18 bouquet is already the highest GRP delivering bouquet in the Indian television space. The option to aggregate third party channels is also one of the opportunities this venture will seek to explore.

The 33 channels distributed by Sun18 include COLORS, MTV, Nick, Vh1, Homeshop18, CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, CNBC-Awaaz, IBN-7, IBN-Lokmat, The Disney Channel, Disney XD, Hungama TV, SUN TV, KTV, Sun News, Sun Music, Chutti TV, Adithya, Gemini TV, Teja TV, Gemini News, Gemini Music, Navvulu TV, Kushi TV, Surya TV, Kiran TV, Udaya TV, Udaya Movies, U2, Udaya Varthegalu, Ushe TV and Chintu TV.

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