Scripps' Global Expansion, Acquires Channel Stake In India

NDTV

Thriving Scripps Networks Interactive continues its acquisition binge and international expansion, announcing a deal to acquire a majority stake in a channel in India, giving it a platform in the growing media market.

The company said it has picked up a 69% interest in an NDTV Group venture that includes a "Good Times" lifestyle-oriented network that Scripps will control. That network's orientation dovetails with the approach of Scripps' Food Network and HGTV.

The $55 million purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2010.

Greg Moyer, president of Scripps' international business, states that the deal gives the company a partner in NDTV that provides a "tremendous entrée" into "one of the world's most promising media marketplaces."

Domestically, Scripps recently reached an agreement to take a controlling interest in the Travel Channel, via a partnership with Cox Communications.

Overseas, Scripps is moving aggressively on expansion and shifting to more of an active role in operating networks versus syndicating programming.

Scripps also has new deals to move into Asia with Food Network, which will have local versions for specific countries. It also has a partnership to bring the channel to parts of Europe -- it is already in 10 million United Kingdom homes -- as well as Africa and the Middle East.

Scripps has proven to be a favorite on Wall Street for its steady cable portfolio. Its share price is trading near a 52-week high at about $40 a share.

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