INX ropes in Ekta Kapoor, Smriti Irani for its new channe

INX ropes in Ekta Kapoor, Smriti Irani for its new channe

New Delhi: Media house INX Group, promoted by Indrani Mukerjea, has taken on board Ekta Kapoor and Smriti Irani, the on-screen Tulsi-as it prepares to take on Star, Zee and Sony in general entertainment category with its new Hindi channel to be launched in November.

Apart from the soap opera queens, INX has also signed up quiz master Siddharth Basu, who will be doing his first ever fiction show.

“We are coming up with our music channel and general entertainment channel in a couple of weeks," Peter Mukerjea, CSO of the company said.

The news channel would come later, he added.

INX, which plans to launch nine channels by 2008, has already started trial run of its music channel - 9XM.

Mukerjea, who played a key role in the rise of Star TV in India, is taking off from some of the old formula as INX gears up to face competition from existing players.

The show from Ekta Kapoor would retain the ‘K´ character. However, the storyline would be more realistic and incorporate contemporaneity. Smriti Irani is coming out with a family drama that promises to be more entertaining.

On the distribution front, sources said the group has already tied up with DTH player Tata Sky to carry all its new channels while the agreement with Essel Group-promoted DTH service provider DishTV is yet to materialise.

The news channel - 9XNews would be launched in the first quarter of 2008 while the rest of the channels would come subsequently.

When asked if the company is facing any regulatory hurdles, Peter said, “There is nothing like that... our plans are firmly on track."

However, he declined to specify the investments which the company is making to launch the new channels.

The entertainment company INX Media has been financed by some of the world’s leading investors including Asia Investment firm Temasek Holdings via Duneam Investments, New Silk Route, New Vemon, Kotak and SREI Group.

Indrani Mukerjea would be the chairperson of INX News while Vir Sanghvi would be the CEO and Editorial head of the news channel.