Turner Imagine: Will NDTV Imagine retain brand?

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With Turner Asia Pacific Ventures buying a majority stake in NDTV Imagine, what will happen to the brand?

The deal involves NDTV�۪s 76 per cent stake in NDTV Imagine being given to Turner for $67 million (about Rs.314 crore), the Time Warner company would acquire fresh equity worth $50 million to get 92 per cent control of the entertainment channel launched last year.

The industry has been abuzz that once the transaction has been approved by the board of Turner’s parent, Time Warner Inc, the name ‘NDTV Imagine’ is likely to change with names such as ‘Turner Imagine’, ‘Warner Imagine’ and just ‘Imagine’ favourites.

It remains to be seen whether the new owners of the channel will opt for a new brand positioning, especially as NDTV Imagine as a channel has already created a niche in the market.

MediaNama put this very question to Vikram Chandra, CEO of NDTV Networks about the brand, he said, “It�۪s too premature to say. With Scripps, there was more visibility to the deal than with the Turner deal. Scripps�۪ channels are known.”

The next few weeks will be interesting to see how the Turner board will turnaround NDTV Imagine’s fortunes including the on-air look of the channel, as well as positioning and identity.

NDTV Imagine Ltd. runs flagship entertainment channel, NDTV Imagine, movie channel NDTV Lumiere, entertainment news channel, Imagine Showbiz and NDTV Imagine Film Co., a film production and distribution company.

Recently Scripps Networks bought a 69 per cent stake in NDTV Lifestyle, which controls the NDTV Good Times channel. The deal values the lifestyle outfit at around �35 million.

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