Television

Zee's biz channel to launch this week on Dish TV

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NEW DELHI: The Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms is going ahead and doing a soft-launch this week of a business news channel on a direct-to-home television service, Dish TV.

"Zee Business (the new channel as it has been christened) will be launched in a quiet manner on Dish TV this week and slowly things would be ramped up," Zee Telefilms news director Laxmi N Goel told indiantelevision.com.

Zee Telefilms and another Chandra company, ASC Enterprise, promote Dish TV, the country's first DTH service.

According to Goel, the business channel is being launched on the DTH platform first as government permission for uplinking from India has not come through yet.

The proposed business news channel would start off with about eight hours of programming. Over a period of a month, the effort would be to increase the content and number of telecast hours to 18 or 24, Goel added.

The dry runs or test runs of the channel had been on for some days now. The business channel would be on the NSS-6 satellite along with other Dish TV channels.

Though Goel did not elaborate on the business model for Zee Business, he did say that there is definitely a market for a Hindi business channel, which would not restrict itself to covering only stock markets.

Incidentally, CNBC-TV 18 is also planning to come out with a Hindi business news channel and TV Today Network promoter Aroon Purie had told indiantelevision.com in an interview some time back that there was definitely room for a non-stock market business channel in India.

Zee's Goel pointed out that as and when government permissions and other necessary clearances come through, the business channel would be offered on cable networks too. A decision on whether it would be a pay channel or free to air on cable networks would be taken at an appropriate time.

The Zee business channel's application for uplinking, after going through some changes, has been pending with the government for over six months.

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