Dilli One gets government nod for uplink

MUMBAI: The Ramesh Sharma-promoted Moving Picture Company India Ltd (MPCL) has received approval for uplinking its Delhi centric channel from the ministry of information & broadcasting.


Promoter Ramesh Sharma confirmed the development today, but said, "This would be a wrong time to start a channel and we would like to wait for a `trigger' to happen in the TV industry, which we feel should come through with Star's proposed channel."

The company has finalised Dilli One as the name of the channel, which would target the audience in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The channel would have a mix of Hindi and Punjabi language programming.

MPCL is a boutique company, which produces programmes such as Current Bollywood on Max and Popkorn on Zoom, the glamour and lifestyle TV channel owned by Bennett Coleman group, publishers of Times of India.

Pointing out that the uplinking permission could have come through earlier, Sharma said that the company is now targeting a festive season launch for Dilli One. This means it is unlikely to see the light of the day before the last quarter of 2005.



Dilli One would be positioned as an interactive infotainment channel. "Though we would be having a certain percentage of news & current affairs based programming, it would be wrong to say that the channel would be a news channel," Sharma added.

MPCL's studio and post-production facility is based in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi, from where the digital free to air channel will be uplinked to Thaicom-3.

Sharma said now that the government has given the green light, the task of setting up a team for Dilli One will commence.

At present, Delhi's NCR is being catered by Total TV, started by a businessman close to Haryana politicians. Another channel in the pipeline is one that would come from the Sahara stable and is going under the project name of D1.

Meanwhile, MPCL is scouting around for a strategic partner to invest in the company, the financial details of which where not forthcoming.

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