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Uplinking clearance for NDTV business news channel

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MUMBAI: The Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV Ltd has finally got permission from the government to uplink its proposed business channel from India.

A government source confirmed the move, saying the green signal was given earlier this month. However, the source refused to provide any further details on whether NDTV has finalised a name for its business channel. According to industry sources, is likely to be headed by NDTV business editor Shivnath Thukral or Ashu Dutt who has had stints at CNBC-TV 18.

If the city-based broadcasting industry sources are to be beleived, the yet-to-be-named business channel from the NDTV stable is also likely to be formally commissioned some time next month.

Though NDTV had mentioned that it is targeting the end of 2004 for the launch of a business channel, indiantelevision.com had reported last month that the channel's launch had got deferred till the first quarter of 2005. And professionals for the NDTV business channel are still being inducted.

          

After the uplink permission from the information and broadcasting ministry, NDTV will have to get several other clearances from various agencies, including the department of telecommunications.

It is, however, not clear whether the proposed business channel would be beamed via an Insat or a foreign satellite. The two existing news channels, NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India, are on PAS-10 satellite.

Despite the delay, NDTV has been making good use of time available by airing primarily business-related programming and news on NDTV 24x7 for the last several months, which have got them good ratings too vis-à-vis competition.

The NDTV board had approved launch of a separate business news channel in May. The company had made an application to the information and broadcasting ministry for uplinking permission for the same in September.

Information available with indiantelevision.com indicates that NDTV business channel's differentiating pitch will be that it would cover a far wider canvas than the focus on stock markets that CNBC-TV18 is still perceived as having.

The fight for the business news channel has begun, it seems. The Raghav Bahl-promoted Television Eighteen Ltd (TV-18) is pressing ahead to meet a new deadline for launching a Hindi business news channel by next month, while Zee Business, was launched on 30 November.

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