Network18 and A&E Television Networks (AETN) today announced the appointment of Ajay Chacko as President of AETN18 MEDIA PVT. LTD, the recently announced joint venture between AETN and Network18.
Based in Mumbai, Mr. Chacko will be responsible for the day-to-day operational, strategic and financial management of the joint venture and its suite of channels and services.
AETN18 plans to launch HISTORY™, BIO™, Crime & Investigation Network™ and other popular AETN entertainment channels in the Indian market. The timeline for these launches is expected to be announced shortly.
B. Saikumar, Group COO, Network18 said “The entertainment space in India is ripe for a new phase of growth and I believe that Ajay will play a significant role in making AETN18 a leader of that trend. I am confident of his ability to seed media brands, establish them and create leadership. This, coupled with his intimate understanding of the broadcast space will help AETN18 achieve the objective of creating India’s leading factual entertainment network and in the process, expand the genre.”
“Ajay brings a very successful track record as a leader and a wealth of knowledge about the Indian market to the venture,” said Sean Cohan, Senior Vice President, AETN International. “With him at the ‘helm’, we are well-positioned to realize our shared vision of strong and vibrant entertainment services in India.”
Ajay Chacko said, “I believe that the Indian factual entertainment opportunity is truly compelling, with the twin forces of evolving viewer tastes and digitization driving demand for such content to an inflection point. At AETN18, our focus will be to unleash the power of globally acclaimed brands such as History, BIO, Crime & Investigation Network with programming that resonates with Indian viewers. I’m looking forward to working with the business and content team in our journey to create India’s leading factual entertainment group.”
With a career spanning over 15 years, Ajay Chacko has rich experience across a variety of roles in sales, marketing & general management within the media and entertainment and services industry. During his tenure at Network18 over the past 7 years, Chacko played a critical role in steering CNBC TV18, CNBC AWAAZ and Forbes India to leadership positions. Prior to joining the group, Chacko worked with leading majors in media and financial services in various capacities involving stints with IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, India), Sharekhan and the Indian Express Group.
Headquartered in New York, AETN is a global media company whose brand portfolio includes A&E™ Network, HISTORY™, Lifetime, BIO™, Crime & Investigation Network™, Military History™, Lifetime Movie Network™, History International™, History en espanol™ and Lifetime Real Women™. Outside the US, AETN’s 44 channels and blocks reach over 250 million TV households in more than 150countries. Internationally, AETN deploys its brands and content via channels, content sales, digital media distribution and home entertainment/electronic sell through.
AETN is the fastest growing pay television group in the United States operating two of the top five Pay TV networks – HISTORY™ and A&E™ Network, and the number one women’s network, Lifetime. HISTORY™ has been the number one factual channel in the US since 2009.
Reaching over 250 million Indians cumulatively every month, Network18 group owns and operates India’s premier bouquet of TV channels through the country’s largest news network and the fastest growing entertainment network housing CNBC-TV18, CNBC AWAAZ, CNN-IBN, IBN 7, IBN-Lokmat, Colors, MTV, VH1, Nick, HomeShop18. Apart from this, the group has a market leading presence in web and mobile, special interest publishing and retail space and operates a suite of specialized service businesses in sports, events, data services and investments. Network18 recently forayed into the TV distribution space through a pioneering distribution alliance with the Sun Group. The new entity, Sun18, will be the first truly pan-India distribution company and is slated to emerge as one of the country’s largest distribution entities.