NBC Universal has bought a 26% stake into New Delhi Television’s (NDTV) overseas company NDTV Networks, it has been announced.

Reuters has reported that the deal is worth $150 million (nearly 80 million).

NDTV Networks is a holding company for the Indian firm’s entertainment and lifestyle channels and digital media business, which are growing quickly on the back of higher advertising spends and greater penetration of cable TV.

“This will be a significant investment in an important emerging market and further illustrates our commitment to expand internationally, particularly in high-growth areas,” NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker said in a statement.

The preliminary agreement includes an option for NBC Universal to increase its stake to up to 50% “at fair market value” in two years’ time, it said.

NDTV Networks already operates NDTV Imagine, which incidently launched in India yesterday. Lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times also is under the umbrella group.

Dr Prannoy Roy, Chairman and joint founder of NDTV Ltd said, “We are delighted to have NBC as our partner. This agreement is a significant step for us. Today, two pioneers in the television history of the world’s two largest democracies have come together to cater to a dynamic and demanding set of viewers.”