ETC Networks' channels to remain free-to-air

MUMBAI: ETC Networks' channels etc Music and etc Channel Punjabi will remain free-to-air post 14 July 2003.

According to a press release, the company has made the announcement in response to the circulars issued by the information and broadcasting ministry inquiring about the status of the channels under the flagship of ETC Networks Ltd. On the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the ETC Networks scrip opened the day at Rs 53.25 and dropped 4.41 per cent to end the day at Rs 50.90.

ETC Networks Ltd CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli was quoted as saying in the release: "As a market leader, to be fair to its viewers and to provide them with non stop entertainment both the channels will continue to be free-to-air. As an FTA channel, we plan to further strengthen our reach and connectivity with the viewers."

The release claims that both the channels have maintained their position as market leaders in their respective genre. The release quotes TAM research for the period of 4 May to 31 June 2003 and in the 15+ time period, etc music has the market share of 45 per cent; while MTV is 16 per cent; Channel [V] is nine per cent, B4U is 10 per cent; CMM is eight per cent and Zee Music is 15 per cent.

Similarly, for the week ending 24 May, ETC Channel Punjabi had a channel share of 57 per cent among Punjabi channels while competitor Balle Balle was lagging far behind at 24 per cent (Source TAM, C&S, age 4+).

ETC Channel Punjabi business head Rabindra Narayan was quoted as saying in the release: "Our aim is to take Punjabi music, culture and entertainment to every home and every television set and for this goal to be achieved, it is imperative that our channel remains free to air."

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