Bloomberg Media today announced formation of BloombergQuint, a joint venture with digital news company Quintillion Media founded by former managing director of Network18 Raghav Bahl.
“This is the first time Bloomberg is investing in a partnership anywhere. This is also first time we are doing a cross platform partnership, it is not a licensing deal, so it is quite unique for us,” Bloomberg Media International MD Parry Ravindranathan told reporters without offering details.
Media reports said Bahl and Bloomberg together will invest Rs 100 crore, with the former owning 74 per cent stake in the JV and Bloomberg owning the remaining 26 per cent.
The partnership will cover broadcast, digital and live events across the country. The BloombergQuint portal will be launched in a few weeks and the television channel will be launched later, after obtaining all regulatory approvals and licences, the companies said.
“Over 20 years ago, we launched this category of business news in this country. Business news… has matured, has crystallised, and is a truly profitable audience engagement platform,” Bahl said.
Bahl, who exited television news business after the sale of Network18 Media Investments in 2014, is re-entering the space with this JV.
“I think there is a challenge. We created a space which has become very powerful. We have created brands which have become very powerful and now we are going to get back into this space with a new offering and a new brand… The space now needs to be redefined.
“We are here, back, to recreate the space and we are delighted to do it with Bloomberg. Bloomberg brings the critical component to this JV. They bring global leadership in business and finance. They bring the DNA of an editorial first and a digital first organisation. These are the DNAs that we need to transport into BloombergQuint,” he added.
The company has hired former chief executive of CNBC-TV18 Anil Uniyal and former CNBC-TV18 executive editor Menaka Doshi to serve as BloombergQuint’s chief executive and managing editor respectively.
Bahl believes that news and information will be increasingly consumed on mobile devices five years from now.
“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that five years on, all news and information consumption will happen on hand-held devices.
“Breaking news will still be watched on television but other than breaking news, all other consumption will happen on hand-held devices.
“I do believe the distinction between television and digital will disappear as far as news and information is concerned. Television will be a linear distribution platform and the hand-held device will be the non-linear distribution platform,” he said.