TV18 plans weekly biz magazine

NEW DELHI: Continuing to report good financial performance, the publicly traded Television Eighteen Ltd (TV 18), the majority stakeholder in the CNBC TV18 business news channel venture, is now planning to come out with a weekly business magazine.



According to sources in the capital market, where information regarding listed companies doesn't remain a secret for long, a headhunting firm has already been mandated to identify potential people for the editorial team for the proposed business weekly.

A source told today morning, With Business India weakening as a magazine, BusinessWorld (from the ABP Group that is also a majority partner in the Star News venture) is the only business weekly at present in India. This scenario makes it ideal for another business magazine to enter the Indian market, which is what TV 18 is doing.

The likes of Business Today, from The Indian Today Group, are fortnightly products.

With cash flow not much of a problem for TV 18, the business weekly venture may cost it in the region of Rs 180- Rs 220 million, provided the company leverages its existing infrastructure (like bureau space in different cities) adequately.

The positioning of the proposed business weekly has not yet been decided , the sources said. With the financial world growing , the market can take in another magazine, but the positioning has to be made right. The TV 18 magazine can be modeled on BusinessWeek or even The Asian Wall Street Journal.

It is learnt that though the work on the magazine and some other expansion plans (a Hindi business news channel and hopping on to a DTH platform abroad) have started, the magazine, the first new venture scheduled to be off the block, would still take between three to four months time to become a reality.

The TV 18 scrip was trading today on the Bombay Stock Exchange at Rs 190.70 at 11.34 am, down 0.13 per cent from the previous closing rate of Rs 190.95. On the National Stock Exchange, the scrip was being quoted at Rs 190.65 at 11.45 am, down from the previous closing rate of Rs 191.20.

As part of the expansion plans, CNBC TV 18 is opening four more bureaus, including Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad. The first, however, is technically being re-established as the regular bureau in Kolkata had been disbanded over an year back as part of a cost cutting exercise.

Meanwhile, negotiations are on to take an international feed of the CNBC TV 18 channel to markets like the Middle East, the UK and the US on direct-to-home platform. This plan too would take between six to eight months time.

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