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Viacom18 Media Private Limited
TypeJoint venture
FoundedNovember 2007; 15 years ago (2007-11)
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India[1]
Key people
Jyoti Deshpande (CEO)
OwnersNetwork18 Group (51%)
Paramount Networks EMEAA (49%)
SubsidiariesViacom18 US
Viacom18 Media
Viacom18 Digital Ventures
The Indian Film Company[2]
Viacom18 Studios

Viacom18 Media Private Limited is a Mumbai-based media company; it is a joint venture between Network18 Group—a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, and Paramount Global.[3] It was founded in 2007 and owns various channels, as well as content production studios in India.


In January 2010, Viacom18 went international with the launch of Colors in United States. The channel is called Aapka Colors. In July 2010, it got into 50/50 distribution joint venture with Sun Network to form Sun 18.[4]

In December 2011, Viacom18 launched Nickelodeon Sonic, targeting young adults.[5]

In January 2014, TV18 acquired the non-Telugu language TV assets of ETV Network for ₹2,053 crore, with a permission to use ETV brand name.[6]

In March 2015, Viacom18 decided to rebrand all five non-Telugu language ETV regional general entertainment channels. ETV Marathi, ETV Gujarati, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla and ETV Odia were rebranded into Colors Marathi, Colors Gujarati, Colors Kannada, Colors Bangla and Colors Odia respectively.[7]

The company also owns Viacom18 Studios. On 31 January 2018, TV18 announced its acquisition of Viacom's majority in the joint venture, taking operational control and leaving Viacom with minority interest.[8] On 1 October 2019, Viacom18 launched Colors HD in Malaysia on Astro Malaysia; every serial will be served with Malay and English subtitles.[citation needed]

More recently, the company had signed a deal with the National Basketball Association in order to deliver live NBA games to all of their own networks.[9]

Merger attempts[edit]

Merger with Sony[edit]

In June 2020, Sony's Indian unit Sony Pictures Networks India was in talks with Viacom18 about a merger, with the talks getting advanced much later. If the merger was successful, Sony would be 74% shareholder in the merged company.[10] However, in October 2020, Reliance Industries,[11] majority share holder in Viacom18, called off the merger.[12][13]

Merger With Zee[edit]

In June 2021,[14] reports stated Viacom18 and Zee Entertainment Enterprises were reportedly in talks about a merger.[15] However, Zee denied any talks about a potential merger with Viacom18,[16] later entering talks with Sony Pictures Networks India, which was also in talks about a merger with Viacom18 earlier.[17]

Merger with Lupa India[edit]

In January 2022, there were reports that Lupa India, an investment company set up by Uday Shankar and James Murdoch, were in the final stages of picking up a 39% stake in Viacom18.[18] thereby turning Paramount Global into a minority share holder with a 10% share in the company.[19] Instead, Viacom18 and Reliance Industries ultimately partnered with Bodhi Tree Systems, a company owned by Lupa Systems, to form a giant streaming and TV company. Bodhi Tree plans to invest US$1.8 billion in Viacom18, with Reliance investing US$216 million and Paramount Global continuing to be a shareholder in Viacom18; JioCinema will be transferred to Viacom18. The deal was approved by CCI in September 2022.[20][21]

Channels and platforms[edit]

On-air channels[edit]

Following are the distribution channels available from TV18:[22]

Channel Launched Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Colors TV 2008 Hindi General Entertainment SD+HD
Colors Rishtey 2014 SD
Colors Cineplex 2016 Movies SD+HD Formerly Rishtey Cineplex
Colors Cineplex Bollywood 2021 SD
Colors Cineplex Superhits 2022
MTV 1996 Youth SD+HD Formerly MTV HD+
MTV Beats 2016 Music Formerly Pepsi MTV Idies
Sports18 Khel 2022 Sports SD
Colors Infinity 2015 English General Entertainment SD+HD
Comedy Central 2012
VH1 2005 Music
Sports18 1 2022 Sports
Nickelodeon 1999 Hindi
Kids SD
Nickelodeon Sonic 2011
Nick Jr. 2012 Hindi
Nick HD+ 2015 HD
Colors Bangla 2000 Bengali General Entertainment SD+HD Previously known as ETV Bangla
Colors Bangla Cinema 2019 Movies SD
Colors Gujarati 2002 Gujarati General Entertainment Previously known as ETV Gujarati
Colors Gujarati Cinema 2019 Movies
Colors Marathi 2000 Marathi General Entertainment SD+HD Previously known as ETV Marathi
Colors Odia 2002 Odia SD Previously known as ETV Odia
Colors Kannada 2000 Kannada SD+HD Previously known as ETV Kannada
Colors Super 2016 SD
Colors Kannada Cinema 2018 Movies
Colors Tamil 2018 Tamil General Entertainment SD+HD

Upcoming channels[edit]

Channel Launching Date Language Genre Availability
Colors Next TBA Hindi GEC SD
Colors Studio English Movies SD+HD
Sports18 2 Sports
Sports18 Hindi Hindi
Sports18 Telugu[23] Telugu
Sports18 Malayalam[23] Malayalam
Sports18 Kannada[23] Kannada
Sports18 Tamil[23] Tamil

Over The Top (OTT)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd". Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  2. ^ "TV18 Broadcast Ltd (CRD)" (PDF). BSEIndia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Corporate restructure complete for India's Network18". Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Beefing Up The Bouquet". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Viacom18 launches its new channel 'Sonic Nickelodeon' in India". India Infoline. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Network18 finishes Rs 2,053-cr deal to acquire ETV stakes". The Economic Times. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  7. ^ "ETV re-branding to Colors". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ "TV18 to increase stake to 51% in Viacom18, the JV with Viacom Inc". Viacom18. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Viacom18 inks three-year media rights deal with NBA - Exchange4media". Indian Advertising Media & Marketing News – exchange4media. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  10. ^ IANS (21 July 2020). "Sony to own 74% after merger with Viacom 18, to battle Disney Star". National Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Reliance Industries calls off merger of Viacom18 with Sony - Times of India". The Times of India. PTI. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  12. ^ Jha, Lata (5 October 2020). "Sony's slated merger with Viacom18 now called off". mint. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Jio | Mukesh Ambani: With Jio in mind, Mukesh Ambani's RIL calls off merger of Viacom18, Sony". The Economic Times. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  14. ^ Laskar, Anirudh (20 June 2021). "Viacom18 and Zee Entertainment in early merger talks". mint. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Viacom18 and Zeel eyeing a merger?". Indian Television Dot Com. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  16. ^ "ZEEL denies any potential merger deal with Viacom18 - Exchange4media". Indian Advertising Media & Marketing News – exchange4media. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  17. ^ "ZEEL starts due diligence process for merger with Sony Pictures Networks". The Financial Express. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  18. ^ Gupta, Surajeet Das (27 January 2022). "Uday Shankar, James Murdoch firm to pick up 39% stake in Viacom 18". Business Standard India. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  19. ^ Laghate, Gaurav. "Uday Shankar, James Murdoch plan to pick up nearly 40% in Viacom18, Reliance to retain majority stake". The Economic Times. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  20. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (27 April 2022). "James Murdoch's Bodhi Tree, Reliance, Viacom18 Strike $2 Billion Deal to Create Giant Indian TV and Streaming Company". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  21. ^ "CCI approves merger of Jio Cinema OTT with Viacom18 Media". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Our Channels - On Air".
  23. ^ a b c d "Exclusive: Regional space to play a major role in Viacom18's sports plans". Indian Television. 9 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  24. ^ "Paramount+ announces 2023 India launch in partnership with Viacom18". The Hindu. PTI. 5 May 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 14 June 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]