BBC Links With India's Largest Publishing Group

12 April 2004

Britain's BBC, never averse to topping up its $2.7 billion ($4.99bn; €4.11bn) licence fee income with commercial sidelines, has formed a magazine publishing alliance with India's largest publishing group, Mumbai-headquartered Bennett, Coleman.

The fiscal details of the fifty-fifty joint venture remain firmly under the wraps, but the duo aim to launch new magazines targeting India's mass urban readership.

The venture's strategy, said executives of BBC Worldwide (the corporation's commercial arm) on Thursday, is to launch new magazines covering niche areas such as weddings and self-improvement. There are no plans to develop or relaunch existing publications.

Boasts Bennett, Coleman managing director Vineet Jain: "We've not decided which titles to launch, but we will drive the market." Among BC's many extant publishing ventures are The Times of India and Economic Times.

The publisher has not, however, developed its magazine interests much beyond two successful titles, Bollywood-centric FilmFare and women's magazine Femina.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff