Curtain call for Reliance Entertainment

Updated: Jan 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
Reliance Entertainment, a company created to provide content for Reliance Infocom, has been put in cold storage. Industry sources said Reliance Infocom has other priorities now and providing content figures in the last leg of its plans.

Members of the core management team have been transfered to other wings, and some of them have left as the other wings are not their cup of tea. They are entertainment-oriented persons, the sources said.

Reliances spokesman, however, claimed that Reliance had never announced any plan to launch an interactive TV or broadband portal through Reliance Entertainment. So the issue of putting such plans in cold storage did not arise, he said.

Reliance Entertainment employees were offered suitable alternative assignments within the group wherever possible. Those who could not accept such assignments and chose to separate have had a mutually agreed separation, said Reliance spokesperson.

The company was categorical in stating that there was no mass retrenchment and nor had the Reliance group shelved its plan for entertainment for content creation.

According to industry sources in Kolkata, some well-placed officials of the entertainment outfit have left to join TV channels.

Industry officials said Reliance Infocom is laying an expensive fibre-optic backbone, and there is no point in having a content provider unless this project is completed.

Reliance Entertainments initial plan was to launch general channels through Infocoms fibre optic network.

The channels or portal pages were to include travel, health, news and niche areas like astrology and romance.

Meanwhile, a Reliance Infocom official said it has received the broadband licence. Eventually, it will also get the crucial right of way to lay 1560km of optical fibre cables in Kolkata, a senior company official said.

The broadband network is at the core of the full service infocom vision, as it will throw up a host of telecom service options, be it basic services, WLL-driven limited mobility, pure cellular, net through cable, running call centres and internet data centres.