Television

NDTV business channel launching 10 January; Profit likely name

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MUMBAI: 'Profit' is the name the Prannoy Roy promoted New Delhi Television Ltd has "almost" finalised for its proposed 24-hour business channel. And barring any last minute hitch, the channel will start beaming into Indian homes from 10 January 2005.

If not 10 January, then the 17th is when Profit will have its formal launch, broadcast industry sources tell indiantelevision.com. The company is toying with the idea of including the NDTV brand name with the name Profit for the channel.

The overall head of the channel would be Vikram Chandra who currently doubles up as CEO NDTV Convergence, besides being the senior editor of NDTV. Other editorial people who would form the core team would include the present NDTV business editor Shivnath Thukral, Ashu Dutt and Manvi.

The channel has come up with a swanky new studio in its Delhi office and has also hired several professionals. A point of note is that NDTV is not looking at overtly leveraging the existing infrastructure and manpower of the two existing channels NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India for the new business channel.

A decision seems likely that the proposed business channel would be a pay channel. "On the programming part, NDTV will have everything that such existing channels have and more," an industry source familiar with the developments says.

The programmes will also have an international component, including live feeds from the US and the Europe. Apart from hardcore news bulletins and business related affairs, the channel would also have lifestyle programmes aimed at appealing to the audience which would include anyone and everyone over 18. There would be a significant but short element of news all the time on the channel.

Looking at the feel and look of the present NDTV channel, the aim of the business channel would be to have a world class product run but the cost of production operations will be kept tight under control. 

As already reported by indiantelevision.com, NDTV has already secured permission from the government for uplink of the channel from India. The permission came through on 14 December.

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.

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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