Bangalore: Adding to the crowded airwaves, Hyderabad-based Associated Broadcasting Co. Pvt. Ltd (ABCL), which runs news channels in Telugu, Kannada and Gujarati under the TV9 brand, plans to launch five more channels in 2008,including an English news channel.
ABCL is funded by Srini Raju, who was previously a director of Satyam Computer Services Ltd and founder-CEO of Satyam Enterprise Solutions Ltd. Raju declined to elaborate on the new ventures beyond saying he wasn’t making any additional investments into the English channel, which is expected to be first off the block.
Mahendra Mishra, channel head editorial of TV9 Karnataka, said he would be the editor of the new English channel as well. He declined to discuss the launch timetable, but said: “Our challenge is to create a channel with an international look, but with a local flavour.”
Mishra did say that ABCL has plans to launch news channels in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai and is looking to launch at least five channels by the end of 2008.
“Today, there are more than 50 news channels in India which is probably the only country with so many,” notes Siddhartha Mukherjee, vice-president (communications) with TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd. He added that news has been one of the categories, apart from children’s channels and regional channels, which have been creating some pressure on the general entertainment category.