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Anil Ambani’s biz news channel waits for regulatory approval to change Bloomberg TV branding

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani-led Business Broadcast News, which owns business news channel Bloomberg TV, will continue with its current branding even after the expiry of its media licensing agreement with Bloomberg LP on 31 March 2016.

Multiple sources in Business Broadcast News said that this is due to a delay in getting regulatory clearances. “The decision not to renew the agreement was mutual. It wasn’t on a sour note. Hence, both parties understand that brand changes and what it entails takes time to sort out,” said one in the know of things.

“The two [Business Broadcast News and Bloomberg] are waiting for regulatory approvals, which will take some time. Until then, the channel name will not undergo any change,” added another source.

The approvals from the authorities concerned could come after two months.

While announcing the split in January this year, Business Broadcast News had said that it would continue to operate the TV channel with fresh branding, which will be unveiled effective 1 April 2016, subject to regulatory approval. Bloomberg had said that it would announce a new media partner in due course.

Bloomberg is getting into a new relationship with Raghav Bahl’s The Quintillion Media. The first to roll out will be the content on the digital platform. The television channel will launch subsequently, after licence is obtained from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB).

Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, who addressed the media at the Bloomberg Economic Forum in New Delhi, tweeted on Monday, “Bloomberg will work in partnership with The Quint. More about it in the months ahead.”

Quintillion Media, which runs news portal, was earlier this month reported to have forged a deal with Bloomberg, under which the two will jointly invest Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in the news space. While Bahl will hold the majority stake with 74%, the rest will be owned by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg TV was launched in 2008 by Ronnie Screwvala, founder of UTV. Initially called UTVi, it underwent a name change after the company entered into a strategic partnership with Bloomberg in 2009. It was then called Bloomberg UTV. In 2012, the channel was once again rebranded as Bloomberg TV, since UTV promoters sold a substantial stake to Anil Ambani’s media company.

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