MUMBAI: The next big phase of expansion in the news genre could well be the regional space. Most broadcasters, including India TV, think so.

The Rajat Sharma - promoted India TV, which has already applied for uplink permission for a Gujarati language news channel to add to its Hindi offering, has set its sights on a Punjabi news channel as well.

Confirming the development, India TV chairman Rajat Sharma told indiantelevision.com, "Punjabi language space look promising as there is no full-fledge news channel operating in that segment."

Though Sharma refused to dwell further on the company's plans, industry sources said that the work is in full-swing on the Punjabi and the Gujarati channels, which will only be at a "little incremental cost", but, more importantly, would add to clout with cable operators.


The Gujarati news channel is expected to launch ahead of the festive season of Diwali or the festival of lights in November, in an attempt to capitalise on the tendency of the advertisers to increase their ad spend during that time.

As for the Punjabi news channel, according to company sources, the target is to put it on air towards the end of 2005. At the moment, players operating in this space, including the Delhi headquartered Punjab Today (part of the group promoting Balle Balle music channel), are few.

That is not all. Indications are that the company is looking at creating a bouquet of channels and has ambitions of entering the entertainment space as well. According to the sources, the company proposes to mark its entry into the entertainment space in 2006.

In its entertainment ambitions, India TV seems to be on the same strategic forward path as the Prannoy Roy - promoted NDTV Ltd that is also toying with an entertainment channel and creating a bouquet of channels after crafting a mark in the news channel space.

India TV is looking at putting its existing and proposed channels on PAS 10 satellite, which will help cable operators to tune-in to the bouquet easily.

India TV, a free channel based in the Film City in Nodia on the outskirts of Delhi, beams via PAS 10 satellite.

The Gujarati news channel is expected to launch ahead of the festive season of Diwali or the festival of lights in November, in an attempt to capitalise on the tendency of the advertisers to increase their ad spend during that time.


As for the Punjabi news channel, according to company sources, the target is to put it on air towards the end of 2005. At the moment, players operating in this space, including the Delhi headquartered Punjab Today (part of the group promoting Balle Balle music channel), are few.

That is not all. Indications are that the company is looking at creating a bouquet of channels and has ambitions of entering the entertainment space as well. According to the sources, the company proposes to mark its entry into the entertainment space in 2006.

In its entertainment ambitions, India TV seems to be on the same strategic forward path as the Prannoy Roy - promoted NDTV Ltd that is also toying with an entertainment channel and creating a bouquet of channels after crafting a mark in the news channel space.

India TV is looking at putting its existing and proposed channels on PAS 10 satellite, which will help cable operators to tune-in to the bouquet easily.

India TV, a free channel based in the Film City in Nodia on the outskirts of Delhi, beams via PAS 10 satellite.

Galaxy