Television

NDTV moots fourth channel as NDTV Nation

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MUMBAI: It appears that as a natural progression for the Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV Ltd, the network is moving forward to have a bouquet of channels, on the lines of Star India and Zee Telefilms. NDTV has applied for uplinking permission for a fourth channel.

The name of the proposed channel, as mentioned in the uplink application, is likely to be 'NDTV Nation'.

Quoting from relevant papers, government sources said the name, NDTV Nation is mentioned by NDTV in its uplink application, but added it could be a working name for the proposed channel that could undergo a change at a later stage.

Contacted by Indiantelevision.com, a source in NDTV did not confirm or deny the development on NDTV Nation, but added, "No final decision (on the name) has been taken yet."

Though details of the proposed channel are still hazy, it is expected that NDTV Nation would be a news channel focusing on news of various regions of India.

PERMISSION FOR A 5TH CHANNEL SOUGHT?

Interestingly, government sources in the know of the developments, say NDTV has sought permission for a fifth channel as well, which is likely to have niche sports programming as its dominant content offering.

When queried about uplink permission sought for a fifth channel, the NDTV source denied it outright, categorically stating there is no fifth channel in the pipeline as of now.

It is worth noting here that NDTV has already made a play in the sporting property rights arena - recently submitting financial bids for telecast rights for the All India Football Federation. The other contenders in the fray are ESPN Star Sports, Zee Sports, Nimbus and Leisure Sports Management.

According to information available, the attempt to bid for the football rights is just a step towards realising a bigger dream of NDTV --- that of having a bouquet of channels of its own straddling most of the traditional genres of programming.

According to a market analyst, in the $ 4.5 billion Indian entertainment industry, the advertising industry is expected to grow strongly by around 12 per cent in FY 2006-2008. TV will increase its share of ad pie from 47 per cent to 50 per cent in the next three years to cross Rs 50 billion, the analyst states. Not surprisingly, within the TV segment, news broadcasting is the fastest growing one.

NDTV scrip opened on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday at Rs 208 after closing on 17 June, Friday at Rs 206.

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