South Indian media conglomerate Asianet News Network on Friday announced that it has acquired Tamil digital news platform NewsFast.
The terms of the deal were were not disclosed.
Asianet will leverage NewsFast’s content to enhance offerings on newsable.com, its English language digital video platform, it said. The group’s digital news offerings now span all the four southern languages, besides English, it added.
“For brands that work with us, this multi-platform reach across broadcast, print and digital offers a significant opportunity to influence the Southern markets,” said Anoop N, chief operating officer, Asianet News Digital.
Citing an industry report, Asianet said that Tamil has the highest Internet adoption among vernacular languages in the South, and the Tamil audience is also the most engaged, with over a third of them accessing news content online.
NewsFast was founded in July 2016 by TV journalist Mathivanan M. The company, which claims to have over 1 million unique visitors, gained prominence for its reportage of the recent volatility in Tamil Nadu’s politics.
“As part of Asianet News Network, me and my team will now have access to a wider audience base and a stronger technology platform,” said Mathivanan.
Asianet’s portfolio companies include Malayalam broadcast news channel Asianet News, Kannada news channel Suvarna News, and Republic TV, which was started by popular TV journalist Arnab Goswami. Its print portfolio includes daily Kannada Prabha.
Its digital media properties include www.asianetnews.tv, which offers news content in English, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and, following the acquisition of NewsFast, also Tamil.
Asianet, majority-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox’s Indian arm Star India Pvt. Ltd, was formerly owned by entrepreneur and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar. In 2008, Star acquired a majority stake in Asianet Communications Ltd, which was then operated by Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Entertainment Ventures.
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