Disney buys TV assets in India

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI Walt Disney today said that it would buy a owner of television programs and a children's channel for $44.5 million as it vies competes against Time Warner for local advertising revenue.

Walt Disney said it would buy 14.9 percent of UTV Software Communications for $14 million and pay $30.5 million for Hungama, a Hindi-language channel that is owned by UTV.

The acquisitions, the biggest in the Indian media industry, require regulatory approvals.

Walt Disney is expanding in India as economic growth spurs spending by consumers. Time Warner runs the Cartoon Network channel, while Walt Disney runs the Toon Disney and the Disney Channel in India.

"The acquisition of Hungama TV, and the investment in UTV will significantly advance our presence in India and allow us to develop a strategic relationship with one of the country's leading integrated media companies," Andy Bird, president of Walt Disney International, was quoted as saying in a statement issued in Mumbai. "India is a long- term strategic priority for the Walt Disney Company."

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