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Mukesh in talks for TV foray

January 25, 2007 00:41 IST

Mukesh Ambani is believed to be in talks with Peter Mukerjea, the outgoing chief executive officer of the Star group, to start an entertainment and news channel.

Sources say Ambani may be financing a part of the project in his individual capacity rather than through any of his group companies.

The duo might also rope in Lachlan Murdoch, the estranged son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, for possible help and investments. Top executives from media and publishing might also be roped in.

However, an RIL spokesperson declined to comment on Ambani's foray into TV broadcasting.

Mukerjea admitted meeting Murdoch, but denied plans to enter the TV business, saying he would be joining as chairman of INX Global, an executive search firm run by his wife.

Mukerjea is contractually bound against joining a competing news channel for six months.

When asked whether he had taken space for the new venture in Mumbai's Worli area, Mukerjea said the real estate was for the search firm.

This development is the latest in a trend of leading domestic industrial houses entering the TV broadcasting business. For instance, BBC TV is believed to have held talks with both Mukesh Ambani and the Tatas.

Bloomberg TV reportedly approached the Living Media group and Anil Ambani for a possible foray. Anil Ambani, Mukesh's younger brother, is already in the entertainment business through acquisition of a majority equity stake in Adlabs and content production house Synergy Communications (owned by Siddhartha Basu), which produces Kaun Banega Crorepati 3 for Star TV.

Reuters TV has already tied up with Bennett, Coleman, publishers of Times of India and promoters of TV channel Times NOW.

Source: source