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David Linde To Receive Reliance Investment

By | Thursday October 7, 2010 @ 9:04am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Give me time to photoshop an Indian turban on David Linde’s head (like I previously did for Dreamworks’ Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider). Because I’ve just pieced together that Linde’s newly formed film entertainment company, Lava Bear Films, is in negotiations  with Reliance ADA. What’s happening is that India’s giant entertainment conglomerate intends to join Lava Bear as an equity partner. Here’s why: Reliance wants immediate access to films with global appeal, and Linde as the former co-chairman of Universal Pictures and before that Focus Features has a great track record as a top executive able to shepherd the production and distribution of films at both the studio and independent levels. Reliance also believes that Lava Bear’s production and operating strategy will be complimentary to the other investments Reliance has made in companies like DreamWorks and IM Global. At the same time this deal is underway, Linde is finalizing a first-look arrangement with his old employer Universal Pictures for all domestic, and certain international distribution, rights to Lava Bear films. The Reliance and Universal partnerships will be combined with output agreements with key independent distributors internationally. So Linde is creating global film production, financing, and distribution. Good for him. Everyone in Hollywood knows he’s a great piece of manpower and was unnecessary collateral damage (because of strong loyalty and bad luck) when Universal targeted his then Uni co-chair Marc Shmuger for firing.

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Reliance & CBS To Launch TV Channels In India

By | Wednesday August 18, 2010 @ 7:39am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mumbai – August 18, 2010 — Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and CBS Studios International, a division of CBS Corporation, today announced their equally owned joint venture. The Joint Venture Company (the “JVCo”) will be a limited liability company incorporated in India.  CBS and RBNL (through its subsidiary) will act as shareholders and each have a 50% equity interest in the JVCo.  The joint venture will, at its start, see the creation of three new television channels allowing for programming rights in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing television markets, and across the Indian subcontinent. Leveraging both brand strengths, the JVCo is called BIG CBS Networks Pvt. Ltd.  The channels will be English language entertainment channels customized for the Indian market, and will premier in the 4th quarter 2010, offering audiences immediate access to new and current CBS programs, including some of the most popular television programs in the world.

The three new channels will be made available across a network of digital and analog distribution platforms.  They will also be offered to audiences across the Indian subcontinent covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan.  The themed channels will be targeted to India’s fast-growing, upwardly mobile population and branded BIG CBS Prime, a premium English language general entertainment channel; BIG CBS Spark, India’s first-ever English language youth channel; and BIG CBS Love, India’s first-ever English language entertainment channel for women.

With Reliance Broadcast Network Limited’s multi-media presence and an

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Reliance Bringing Universal Studios Theme Parks To India?

Mike Fleming

The Wall Street Journal reports that Reliance ADA Group is negotiating with Universal Studios to replicate its  movie-themed amusement parks in India. The result would be a $1.5 billion new park that covers 400 acres –in either New Delhi or Mumbai–and would combine Universal park attractions with others devoted to Bollywood films. Universal would take a licensing fee for its branded attractions that include themed attractions involving such Marvel Comics characters as Spider-Man, The Hulk and Doctor Doom–deals made well before theme park rival Disney bought Marvel–as well as Dr. Seuss attractions. There are also the venerable rides based on the films of Reliance’s DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg–who gets a cut of theme park receipts–with Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic Park. Universal’s Islands of Adventure just opened an entire wing of the park devoted to the Warner Bros franchise Harry Potter, which recently opened after two years of construction, highlighted by a ridiculously ambitious simulator ride housed within a replica of Hogwarts Academy that has been carved into a faux mountainside setting that is as overwhelming as the $200 million I’m told was spent to build it. WSJ qualifies that the deal is in the talking stage, but it would mark Reliance’s latest foray into Hollywood. Besides its partnership with DreamWorks, Reliance made first look deals with the production companies of Brad Pitt, Chris Columbus, Jay Roach, George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Nicolas Cage and … Read More »

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