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TV18 Broadcast soars on buzz Comcast may want in on Shankar-Murdoch deal

Shares of TV18 Broadcast surged over 8 percent on February 3 on buzz that US telecom conglomerate Comcast may join media titans James Murdoch and Uday Shankar in acquiring a stake in Viacom 18.

The Times of India reported that Comcast may want to become a part of the deal as they are running out of opportunities to enter the Indian media market. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the news.

In January, media reports said that Murdoch and Shankar, in partnership with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), are looking to infuse up to Rs 12,000 crore in Viacom 18, where TV18 Broadcast has a majority stake.

As part of the deal, Shankar and Murdoch will own 40 percent stake in Viacom 18 while RIL’s arm TV18 will maintain majority ownership with 51 percent stake.

The Times of India reported that Murdoch-Shankar’s Lupa Systems could hold less than 10 percent stake, ViacomCBS 10-11 percent and another new entrant 30-31 percent stake.

The deal to restructure the shareholding of Viacom 18 is widely believed to be in response to Zee Entertainment and Sony India’s proposed merger. Also, it comes ahead of several billion dollars’ worth of media rights to broadcast sporting events, primarily cricket, which are likely to be given in the near term.

Shares of TV18 Broadcast were up 8.5 percent at Rs 66.10 on the National Stock Exchange.

Disclaimer: MoneyControl is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary. Money Control

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