Television

Eenadu Group launching Urdu channel next month, planning 14-channel bouquet in 2 years

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The Hydrabad-based Eenadu Group, one of the largest media networks in southern India promoted by Ramoji Rao, will be launching ETV Urdu channel next month. The launch date is still being finalised, industry sources say.

Rao is also laying out plans for a major expansion in the Eenadu Television Network, to be executed over the next two years, which will bring the number of channels under the ETV banner to 14.

ETV has been building its programming content for the Urdu channel for more than one-and-a-half years. The target audience will not only the Urdu speaking audiences in India but also the Gulf countries (Pakistan as well?). The Urdu spoken on the channel will not be pure Urdu (which not many people understand) but that spoken by common people so as to give it a broader viewership.

Eenadu Television Network, which has successfully been running ETV Telugu for the last six years, launched ETV Bangla in May 2000, followed by ETV Marathi in June and ETV Kannada in December. All the channels are reportedly doing well in their respective territories except for ETV Marathi which is facing some problems as far as reach is concerned.

Industry resources say Eenadu has big plans for its regional bouquet. Next on the cards are channels in Gujarati and Oriya scheduled for launch later this year. Next year will see the launch of channels in seven regional languages. The aim of the network is to build a brand and cater to niche audiences in all major regional languages.

Other plans on the group's agenda is to promote the Ramoji Rao Filmcity in Hyderabad in India as well as abroad. The group also has plans to capitalise on its strong brand presence in the print medium by launching a Kannada language daily newspaper in the near future.

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