Kolkata: ‘North East Live’, the first 24x7 satellite news channel launched in Arunachal Pradesh at the beginning of this month, is in talks with DTH (direct-to-home) players like Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel, etc to get itself integrated in the list of channels offered to subscribers by them. For this, the channel has earmarked an annual budget of Rs 12 crore-Rs 13 crore.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the DTH players charge around Rs 4.5 crore every year as carriage fees.
The news channel also plans to start a beauty pageant very soon. It has tied up with Femina Miss India in order to make participating in the contest easier for the girls from north east India. The girls can directly get in touch with the channel.
‘North East Live’ is a sister channel of Guwahati-based Pride East Entertainment Private Limited running three other channels-namely ‘Newslive’, a news channel; while ‘Rang’ and ‘Ramdhenu’ are general entertainment channels (GEC) channels.
“This is the fourth venture of Pride East Entertainment. The news would be telecast in Hindi, English, Assamese and Bengali. We would focus on the political beat more as north eastern states are likely to see many developments,” said Caushiq Bezboruah, chief executive officer, Pride East Entertainments.
Pride East Entertainments has around 350 employs working for them. For the ‘North East Live’, there is a team of 50 people. “We have set up a studio at Arunachal Pradesh and for the Guwahati reporting, the infrastructure and manpower of ‘Newslive’ are used,” said Bezboruah.
Talking about their plan to get them included on the DTH platform, Bezboruah says that the DTH players have strong foothold as compared to local cable operators in the state. “The players would take a view of the percentage of our acceptance among viewers. They will do a survey probably,” he said.
While talking about the tie up with Femina Miss India, he said that many aspiring women miss the opportunity because of the difficulty of travelling to Kolkata. “But this would make it easier for them,” he said.
He even thinks that with this new works out, the people across the country and abroad will be able to know more about north east India via their channels. “The information about north east India missed by the mainstream channels will reach the rest of the country and the world from now on through this satellite channel,” he said.
On being asked about the media scenario in the north eastern region of the country, Bezboruah said it is very similar to the other parts of the country and revenue generation is challenging.