|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Traded as||BSE: 532798
|A P Parigi - Group CEO www., Umesh Upadhyay - President News|
|Products||Cable television, publishing, films, music, broadcasting, radio, web portals|
|Revenue||₹28.17 billion (US$450 million) (2014)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||TV18, Viacom 18, Web18, HomeShop18|
Network18 Media & Investments Limited (BSE: 532798, NSE: Network18) is an Indian mass media company which is owned and operated by Reliance Industries. Headquartered in Noida, India. It has interests in television, print, internet, film, mobile content and allied businesses. Network 18 FinCap is the holding company for several media entities in India such as Television Eighteen India Ltd (TV18), HomeShop18, CNN-IBN, First Post, IBN 18 Broadcast Ltd, Web 18, Studio 18, Shop 18, Infomedia 18, and Viacom 18.
The company was incorporated as a private limited company on 16 February 1996. In 2006, it was converted to a public limited company. The name of the company was changed from SGA Finance & Management Services Private Limited to Network 18 Fincap Private Limited with effect from 12 April 2006. Network 18 got listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange on 2 February 2007. The shares of the company of face value of Rs 5 each opened at Rs 312.10 at the NSE and at Rs 300 at the BSE. Since the company was created as part of the re-structuring of TV18 to comply with foreign ownership laws for news channels in India, it did not have to list through a public issue.
Raghav Bahl founded and served as managing director till July 2014. In Jan 2012, there was a large investment by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited in a complex deal that offered a possibility that Ambani-held Indian Media Trust might eventually gain a controlling interest. In July 2014, the ownership was transferred to Indian Media Trust.
On 29 May 2014, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) announced it would be acquiring control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd. The board of RIL approved funding of up to Rs. 40 billion to Independent Media Trust (IMT), of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, for acquisition of control in Network 18 and its subsidiaries. On 8 July 2014, RIL stated that it has completed the Network 18 take over.
Following the acquisition, the entire founding team - editorial and managerial- resigned from the group. Rajdeep Saradesai, editor-in-chief of CNN IBN, wrote in a letter to the employees before his resignation, "Editorial independence and integrity have been articles of faith in 26 years in journalism and maybe I am too old now to change!".
Certain reports claim that the acquisition by Reliance can pose a serious threat to the independence of media in India. Umesh Upadhyay, recently appointed President News at Network18, strongly denied such suggestions stating "What happens in a newsroom is a sacrosanct editorial function".
- TV18 is a listed company which runs business news channels CNBC-TV18 in English and CNBC Awaaz in Hindi and owns most of Web 18. In 2006 it acquired CRISIL Market Wire which was renamed Newswire 18.
- Network 18 holds 57% in IBN 18 Broadcast Ltd, headed by Rajdeep Sardesai, which runs general news channels CNN-IBN in English, IBN-7 in Hindi and IBN-Lokmat in Marathi in JV with Marathi newspaper Lokmat. GBN in turn owns a small stake(15%) in Web 18.
- Web18 is an unlisted umbrella company for all Network 18 web properties such as moneycontrol.com, in.com, IBNLive.com, josh18.com, cricketnext.com, commoditiescontrol.com, tech2.com, poweryourtrade.com, easymf.com, compareindia.com, First Post (India) and upcoming women's and automotive portals. The company also owns stakes in Jobstreet (India), Yatra.com and BookMyShow.com.
- Studio 18 is a newly formed division of Network 18 for film production and financing.
- HomeShop18 launched the Home-shopping television network.
- Webchutney, a digital marketing agency.
- InfoMedia 18... now Network 18 Publishing, a media company with Magazine Publishing, Printing Services, Publishing Outsourcing Services, Engineering & Manufacturing trade Shows.
- The company also owns Viacom 18, which has channel like Colors TV, MTV India, Nick India and VH1 India. Viacom 18 has plans to launch a Hindi movie channel and some regional-language channels in near future.
- Sun 18 -In 2010 it entered into JV with Sun Network to distribute its channels through cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS and MMDS. Sun18 Media Services North and South were formed. Sun 18 South focuses on the non-Hindi-speaking markets and is managed by the Sun Network. Sun 18 North focuses on the rest of Indian markets and is operated by the Network18 Group.
- Network18 publishes Forbes India, the nation's first local edition of a foreign news magazine title and one of the world's most influential business brands, in collaboration with Forbes Media.
List of companies
- TV18, a joint venture of Network18 and NBCUniversal which is concerned with the Television business.
- Network 18, the venture which is concerned with undertaking the digital and publishing business.
Network TV channels
- CNN-IBN, JV of IBN 18 Broadcast Ltd and Turner International India
- IBN-7, an IBN 18 Broadcasting Ltd Channel
- CNBC Awaaz, JV of CNBC Asia & TV18
- CNBC TV18, a TV18 channel
- IBN-Lokmat, JV of Lokmat & Network 18
- MTV India, a Viacom 18 channel
- Nick India, a Viacom 18 channel
- Nick Jr. India, a Viacom 18 channel
- Sonic, a Viacom 18 channel
- VH1 India, a Viacom 18 channel
- Colors, a Viacom 18 channel
- Comedy Central, a Viacom 18 channel
- HomeShop18, a Network 18 Channel
- Topper, an Educomp 18 channel
- History TV18, a TV18 channel
- ETV Network
- in.com, launched on 21 July 2008, in.com has news, songs, videos, games, among other media. Within a few months of its launch the site became very popular as India's leading general interest web destination.
- moneycontrol.com is Asia's largest and the world's second largest financial and business portal[peacock term]; providing real time coverage on market movements, key expert insights and discovering intrinsic dynamics between the various market participants. It has more than 1 million registered users and receives more than 150 million page views per month.
- firstpost.com – An online news website meant to be accessible across multiple digital platforms
- Bookmyshow.com – Launched in 1997, bookmyshow is an E-ticketing website.
- poweryourtrade.com Is a financial advisory portal giving investment advice, market news, and analysis to investors and traders.
- commoditiescontrol.com brings its user a deep understanding of the Indian commodity space. It has first hand information of prices from over 100 spot markets making it one of the most credible commodities information and research service provider in India.
- Cricketnext.com – Was launched in 2000, and provides the latest information on cricketing events around the globe. It has many interactive features like daily polls, celebrity chats, and forums.
- Compareindia.com provides customers free information on the product they would like to buy. The site contains 37 product categories: Audio systems, televisions, washing machines, microwave ovens, refrigerators, fax machines, photocopiers, and printers, amongst others.
- tech2.in.com Provides the news of latest happenings in the technology world. It also contains reviews of the technology products; from tablets, to smartphone, to laptops.
- homeshop18.com is a nationally televised home shopping service, which uses interactive electronic media, primarily through cable TV and internet to sell credible brands. It acquired online books, movies and music retailer Coinjoos.com, which was started in November 2009 by the Noida-based technology start-up called On-Graph Technologies, in an all-cash deal. The company has plans to discontinue the Coinjoos.com brand and merge the books business of On-Graph Technologies with Homeshop18.com.
- fakingnews.com an Indian news satire website that publishes fake news reports containing satire on politics and society of India, had been acquired by Network 18-led First Post.
The Network 18 Group announced a restructuring plan to create a two listed entity structure for the group in July 2010. The restructuring became effective on 10 June 2011 with the approval of the Delhi High Court and the group successfully completed the re-alignment of its business operation into 2 sections – Network 18 and TV18. Network18 undertakes the digital and publishing side of the business, TV18 will undertake the television assets of the group.
Controversy and criticisms
Abrupt firing of Forbes India editor
In June 2013, it was reported that the Forbes India editor Indrajit Gupta was fired after he refused to accept a severance package without consulting his lawyers. On the same day, the Managing Editor, Charles Assisi was forced to quit on the same grounds. The following day, Executive Editor Shishir Prasad, Director Photography Dinesh Krishnan and Director Online Deepak Ajwani were called in and asked to accept the new terms or quit. Shishir Prasad and Dinesh Krishnan quit while Deepak Ajwani stayed on. The Press Club, Mumbai condemned the incident. The CEO of Network18 Group said that the problems were due to the restructuring of the Network18 Group with the merger of Firstpost.com and Forbes India. 
Notes and references
- "Network18 Management". Network18Online.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Reliance names Raghav Bahl Network 18 non-executive director". livemint.com.
- Network 18 Financial Statements
- "Network 18 Media & Investments". moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
- Sandeep Bamzai (14 January 2012). "RIL deal-Network18: Is Mukesh Ambani the new media mogul?". India Today.Quote: the instrumentality ... is an optionally convertible debenture which has every possibility of turning into equity. Analysts say that going forward, Ambani will turn into a majority stake-holder of Network 18 and TV18 through this mechanism. On 29 May 2014, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance industries, purchased the company for a reported Rs. 40 billion
- "RIL to acquire control of Network 18, Rajdeep may go". HT Media Limited. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "RIL completes Network 18 takeover". Patrika Group. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Beefing Up The Bouquet". business.outlookindia.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "Sun Network ties up with Network 18 to form Sun 18". Chennai, India: thehindu.com. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Network18 launches Firstpost.com In.com – 9 May 2011
- "HomeShop 18 acquires CoinJoos.com". afaqs.com. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "HomeShop 18 to discontinue CoinJoos brand". economictimes.com. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "Restructure complete for Network 18". rapidtvnews.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011.